Lunch time on December 16, 2019, was a little different than usual for everyone at Coca-Cola UNITED in Alexandria, Louisiana. The tornado struck at 12:45 p.m., and luckily, none of the employees were injured. “A family (United Coca-Cola) is a circle of LOVE, not broken by a loss, but made stronger by the memories,” said Mark Cowart, Sales Center Manager. “We are grateful all our associates are safe. We are assessing our damage, but we can confirm our facility was hit by the tornado.” There was some damage to the sales center, warehouse and vehicles, but the 47 year old facility held it’s own against the storm.
Summer Satcher, Print Shop Technician had this to say, “When the lights went out and my ears popped, I knew something was wrong. As I got up, I heard someone yell “Get in the storm shelter now!!” so I ran. Thankful everyone in our facility was safe and unharmed.”
Billy Young, Fleet Mechanic, commented on his experience, “Heard debris hitting our building and shop doors rattling, then me and Frank Crooks, Fleet Lead, went inside the parts room until all noise stopped. We walked out of the parts room and went to the side door, this is when we realized from all the damage it was a tornado.”
Assessments and repairs began immediately, not only by associates, but also by community volunteers. Everyone worked hard to get everything back up and running, and trucks were back on the road the next day.