Local News

Rocky Mount Businesses Rising to the Challenge of Recovery

Posted October 25, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— From big to small, thousands of companies were shut down by Hurricane Floyd. After weeks of rebuilding, many businesses are just beginning to get back to work.

Loaves of bread are a moral victory for Rocky Mount's work force. Tuesday, workers celebrated the first loaves to come off the line at Merita Bread since Hurricane Floyd.

No one expected business to resume this quickly, but the company worked around the clock to clean every inch of the building for Tuesday's test run.

Merit officials say it is staying in its current location in spite of the flood and hopes to be back to 100 percent production in six months.

"We have a lot of great employees here in Rocky Mount, and everyone has pitched in and given 100 percent to get us as far as we are now," says General Manager Bob Pape.

Pepsi says it probably will not return to its current facility, but will stay in Rocky Mount. The company hopes to resume work next week.

The delay has forced some layoffs. The Employment Security Commission does not have hard numbers, but says that dozens of displaced workers have come in since the flood.

Alliant Foodservice was able to keep all of its employees by sending them to work at other offices. They have thrown away millions of dollars worth of flooded food and equipment and replaced everything.

Because of hard work from employees, they will send their first shipment Monday morning.

While some companies are beginning to get back to business, many families still have a long road ahead.

The Red Cross now says more than 34,000 homes were damaged by Floyd's flooding. It has already helped 18,500 people throughout this disaster and served almost 1.5 million meals and snacks since Floyd.

If you still need help or want to help, call the Red Cross at1-800-958-2351.