AFTER THE STORM: Ringgold Krystal latest sign of progress
RINGGOLD, GA (WRCB) -- It has been a long road to recovery for several communities that were devastated by the April 27th, 2011 tornado. But cities like Ringgold continue to bounce back.
People are celebrating the grand opening of the new Krystal restaurant. The Krystal is just the latest in group of restaurants there, that are now back open for business.
Signs of the monstrous EF-4 tornado that pounded Ringgold still linger. A lot that was once a Shell station still sits empty. But there are many more signs of progress up and down Alabama Highway. The latest added to the list is a brand new Krystal.
"We're proud to be back in Ringgold. We've been planning this re-opening ever since... almost right to the day two years ago," says Ray Morgan, a zone director for Krystal.
After much planning and rebuilding, Krystal finally re-opened its doors to the public after winds up to 200 miles per hour tore through it.
Morgan says the restaurant had been in the Ringgold community since the 1980s.
"It was a traumatic event for our crew members, which is our Krystal family, as well as the community."
Now he says they are back and better than ever, and the line around the building shows the community's excitement.
"I'll tell you, it's just incredible. They're coming and saying, 'The Krystal's back!'"
"We're coming back strong and rebuilding. And Ringgold's coming back to life and looking good," says resident Eva Ward.
"It opened Sunday. This is our second visit already," says Dana Bowling.
Bowling and her family are making sure to support the re-opened business, saying it supports her Ringgold neighbors.
"Anytime you can take your own community and put people back to work in your own community, I mean, look at the jobs that were lost," says Bowling.
But more importantly, she is glad her husband can satisfy his Krystal craving closer to home.
"Oh, this is great! This is the greatest thing since sliced bread," proclaims Victor Bowling.
He has been waiting two years for this.
"I'm glad it's back. It's been a long time since I've been able to have a Krystal at home!"
"And I love it now because we don't have to go to Ft. Oglethorpe, Rossville and all the way to Dalton to get him a Krystal now," Dana says with a laugh.
Fifty-three local workers were hired to help operate the Ringgold location.