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Food Lion distribution center reopens a year after tornado

Posted May 8, 2012

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— A newly expanded Food Lion distribution center in Dunn that was severely damaged last spring when tornadoes roared across the state officially reopened Tuesday, putting more than 700 employees back to work.

The April 16, 2011, tornado ripped off the roof and sheet metal walls of the Harnett County warehouse, known as Distribution Center 4, forcing the hub to rely on other facilities in Salisbury, South Carolina and Virginia to provide groceries to 270 stores in eastern North Carolina.

The 1.3 million square-foot facility reopened at a limited capacity in February and resumed full operations on Friday with an additional 54,000 square feet of refrigerated storage space.

Cathy Green Burns, Food Lion's chief executive officer, who was among company officials and local dignitaries on hand for Tuesday's reopening ceremony, said the warehouse is a critical link in the Food Lion chain.

"This is a big day for Food Lion, specifically," she said. "This facility services 270 Food Lion stores, and that's a large number. So, the Food Lion brand is the recipient of the distribution's center's efforts."

Food Lion provided extended benefits and offered some employees jobs at other distribution centers, but there were no layoffs over the past year.

More than 150 employees, many of them truckers, had to work in the other centers, staying away from home for weeks at a time.

"Ask any of them, it's good to be home," Burns said.

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  • davidgnews May 8, 2012

    Cathy Green Burns has been a good CEO for Food Lion.

  • cwood3 May 8, 2012

    Good news-thank you Food Lion for taking care of your people while the center was closed.

  • dleven04 May 8, 2012

    Welcome home, Food Lion, Welcome home!

  • awomnsptofview May 8, 2012

    Praise the Lord.. Great news for a change!!!