N.O. East residents hope neighborhood Winn-Dixie re-opens quickly

The closure of a Winn-Dixie in Gentilly, coupled with the fact that another Winn-Dixie down the road is not yet open after February's tornado.

NEW ORLEANS - With Winn-Dixie bags in her hand, 66-year-old Karen Martin is making her way to her bus stop. Hearing the news that her favorite grocery store is closing came as a shock.

"It'll be an inconvenience for me, to tell you the truth. Because I'm without transportation," Martin said.

Even with the Wal-Mart across the street, Martin is upset. Terry Williams shops at the Winn-Dixie at 4600 Chef Menteur Highway as well.

"It's surprising. It's the first I ever heard of that," Williams said.

Williams is worried about not just the closure, but what it will mean for jobs in his neighborhood.

"Unless somebody big coming in to do something with the property.  It'll be another eyesore, another building vacant," Williams said.

A spokesperson for Southeaster Grocers, which owns Winn-Dixie, tells our partners at The Advocate, they are trying to keep as many workers as possible.

The Advocate also reports the store chain has 42 stores in the state, with more than 3,900 employees.

Officials with Winn-Dixie say they plan on re-opening the Winn-Dixie in New Orleans East. A sign at the location re-directs people to the 4600 Chef Highway location. The Winn-Dixie in New Orleans east is temporarily closed because of February's EF-3 tornado. A storm that many people in this area, are still feeling the burden from.

Right behind the Winn-Dixie is Saeed Ghanaessichani's neighborhood.

"When we are here, we're usually here til dark time," Ghanaessichani said.

Each day since the tornado has been rough.

"I cannot hire no contractor because of a small budget that I have," Ghanaessichani said. 

The news about the closure adds another blow.

"My wife is a grocer. So, it's time burning for you know, for me and her you know. Driving for her down there and she go grocery down there. Instead of being convenient like close to us," Ghanaessichani said.

As residents like Ghanaessichani continue picking up the pieces to their homes, they are hoping their local grocery store just around the block succeeds in rebuilding quickly.

 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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