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Grafton's only grocery store not reopening after flooding

The closest grocery store to Grafton is now 45 minutes away.

Situated on a bend of the mighty Mississippi River, Grafton, Illinois, was hit especially hard by 2019's flooding. 

The town had six to 12 inches of silt to scoop off the roads and wash off buildings. Grafton Mayor Rick Eberlin said it didn't take long to get the city back in working order. 

"I'm not saying we made a full recovery, but we are well on our way," he said.

Part of a full recovery would be restoring Grafton's one and only grocery store, the Grafton Market on Main Street. The small store flooded twice this season and for personal reasons, the owners decided not to reopen. 

Without the market and hardware store, visitors and residents in need of basics have no other option but to drive to Jerseyville or Alton. Eberlin worries the 45-minute-or-longer drive is hard on some of the locals. 

"A good percentage of our residents are elderly, that drive is not easy for them," he said.

Eberlin does not think the new owners would make a fortune, but he said the store has always done well and people can make a comfortable living with it. 

"It's small but convenient," Eberlin explained, "and we're OK with paying a little bit more to have a convenience like that."

The Grafton Market currently has for sale by owner signs listing the number 618-616-2717.

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