December 8, 2016
The 618,000-square-foot Ozarka bottling plant in Hawkins, TX is up and running again, a little more than seven months after being destroyed in an EF 2 tornado. A grand-reopening ceremony took place at the plant, located at 3265 S. Farm-to-Market Rd. 2869 in late November.
The April 29 tornado packed winds of 125 m.p.h., causing approximately $100 million worth of damage and lost production. The warehouse roof, an electrical room, offices, cooling towers, tractor trailers and vehicles were destroyed. Water had also flooded the building from a busted fire line. In addition, six air handlers were destroyed, and had to be replaced. Said Nestle Waters’ Tim Brown, “You can’t get air handlers at Walmart.”
The re-opened plant is fully operational, with something extra. A tornado shelter that meets Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines is under construction, with completion scheduled for the end of the year.
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