A major store re-opens after Americus tornado - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

A major store re-opens after Americus tornado

June 4, 2008

Americus-- Fifteen months after a tornado tore through Americus, another major business is ready to re-open.

The Winn-Dixie store took a direct hit last March 1st, now a state of the art new store will open on Thursday.

A new layout, more energy efficient lighting, and color coded sections are just a few of the updated features in this new Winn-Dixie in Americus that replaces the store destroyed last year.

"Pretty much the store was just devastated there was just a couple of support walls standing, I came up from Jacksonville that morning, just took one look and it was very obvious that we would have to knock it down and rebuild it," said Mark Sellers, Winn-Dixie Regional VP.

Rebuild they did, store number 545 is a blueprint of what other Winn-Dixie stores will look like.

As stores like this state of the art facility in Americus begin to open, another feature is the very popular self check out lanes.

But tornado recovery in Americus is far from finished. Cracks in the walls at the Lake Blackshear Regional Library forced the Library to shut down.

"We saw the cracks immediately and reported to our insurance company, but they did not become really large until the summer," said Anne Isbell, Americus Library Director.

Now, the library is serving the community from a temporary facility on Tripp Street.

"It looks a little ruff from the outside, but we have everything here that we had at the other building, we feel lucky to be here it's very centrally located, it's not costing us anything to be here because the insurance company is paying for it," said Isbell.

Money is what it's taking to rebuild so many things in Americus.

"We got a great store it's not the same store, it sits on the same foundation but it's a completely different supermarket," said Sellers.

As rebuilding ends at the grocery store, construction continues at the library. The repaired facility should open by year's end.

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