Businesses popping up a year after a tornado hits Mount Olive, Illinois

MOUNT OLIVE, IL (KTVI) – It has been almost a year since a tornado struck Mt. Olive, Illinois. That EF2 tornado could not have taken a worse path. It came in from the west and spun right down main street. Crashing into building after building from one side of town to the next. When the sun came up the next day the outlook for mount olive was grim.

That was then, this is now. There are still stark reminders of the tornadoes fury. But, just like spring flowers are a sign of new life after a cold winter. There are new businesses popping up that offer new hope for Mount Olive.

Joe Robbs owns the Mercantile building on the west side of town. It was one of the first to be hit and now it is one of the first to reopen.

“You have all that feeling of loss and loss and loss and you finally get to the end of rebuilding and this is at least some kind of reward for that.” said Mercantile Owner Joe Robbs.

Inside the mercantile there are two entirely new businesses. On one side, Nepute’s Market, a light grocery with fresh fruits and meats. Next door there’s B&K Bakery with pastries and bread for every taste.

“We really need to build mount olive and start something new. it’s nice to see the foot traffic on Main Street again.” said Vicki Nepute.

“After the tornado, it was a disaster, but it was also a blessing as the rebuilding enabled new businesses to come in.” George Mull of B&K Bakery.

It has been a long tough road to get to this point. But, the sense of optimism you hear and see in folks here you can tell they are heading in the right direction.

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