Denham Springs Walmart finally reopens after August flood
DENHAM SPRINGS - Life in Denham Springs feels just a little bit closer to normal with the reopening of the local Walmart.
"They're just happy because we're back to be a pillar in the community," Assistant Manager Alexander Johnson said.
For the people of Denham Springs, the reopening of Walmart means more than just a place to shop. For them, it's the little things that matter.
Scanning groceries, perusing items, and saying hello to a familiar face all contribute to the feeling that things are finally getting back to normal.
"They come in with smiles on their face," Johnson said. "A lot of them lost everything, so to come back here and go down an aisle you feel comfortable with and know that hey you see a smiling face, it just means the world to them."
It's a community experience, where the sight if familiar faces brings back a sense of routine.
"It's coming back to normal, and thats what everyone loves about it," Manager Derrick Fontenot said.
That sense of normal is something flood victims have craved during the months of recovery.
"It's the normality that I need. I had nowhere to live, nowhere to work," said John Ayer, a flood victim and Walmart associate. "It's just been great to return to a normal daily routine of living, like before the flood."
This wasn't an easy goal to reach. After the flood, this Walmart needed over 22,000 square feet of reconstruction.
But thanks to the store's loyal team of associates longing to get back home, the job was done.
"I was just lost," said Heather Seguin, an associate of 17 years. "I was just happy to know, other Walmarts accepted us to go to work right away and we gained extended families through other stores."
Now that they're back, employees say life is slowly but surely coming back together.