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Grocer works to reopen

Grocery shoppers in the Brewton and East Brewton area are anxious to see the return of business for Piggly Wiggly in East Brewton.

Though most of the debris removal as been done, employees at the store continue to clean and sanitize as they prepare for reopening soon.

Lester Hildreth, district manager for the store, said workers continue to work on regrouping and putting the store back together.

“We are doing a lot better than we were last week,” Hildreth said. “We do still have a way to go before we can get back up and running.”

Hildreth said employees are working to clean the store to prepare for restocking merchandise for shippers.

We have gotten rid of all the debris, mud and water in the store,” Hildreth said Monday. “We are working to get everything pressure washed and cleaned properly before working to restock. We would like to be able to open up this week, but it may be the middle of next week according to how things go and progress.”

Hildreth said the initial health inspection has been done and areas of concern have been addressed.

“The inspector came and looked over everything,” Hildreth said. “We were given a few things to take care of and we have done that. We will have the inspector come in again to make sure that every area is where it needs to be for us to begin restocking.”

Although having several feet of water in the store can be a messy situation, Hildreth said he hopes that none of the store equipment was severely damaged by the flood.

“We really don’t know just how much that water effected our coolers,” Hildreth said. “Once we get everything cleaned up and pass inspection, we will begin getting the coolers running to see what works. We really won’t know until we get those compressors cleaned and running just what we may have damaged.”

Produce, meat and dairy coolers, as well as frozen food freezers will have to be inspected. Hildreth said he believes the damage will be minor to those pieces of equipment.

“We are just taking it one day at a time,” Hildreth said. “We are ready to be open as much as our customers are ready.”

No specific date has been set for re-opening, however Hildreth said if the store were not open by the weekend, it would be mid-week next week before opening can occur.

Once final inspection is complete, ordering and restocking of fresh, frozen and general merchandise can move forward.

Piggly Wiggly is located in East Brewton on Forrest Avenue.