Erath supermarket ‘better than ever’ 10 years after Rita

Photo: KLFY

Ten years ago Champagne’s Supermarket was completely damaged by flood waters from Hurricane Rita. Now, the store is back in business and owners say it’s doing better than ever.

“The traffic in and out is very good. Just like it was before.” says head cashier Karissa Vincent.

Hurricane Rita hit the Louisiana coast on September 24 sending a storm surge as far north as the town of Erath. Many homes and businesses were destroyed including Champagne’s Supermarket. Vincent says the destruction was unbelievable. “It was gut wrenching. To think that you were going to go back to nothing. A lot of people lost their homes, thankfully we were able to rebuild the business but a lot could not rebuild their homes.”

The family owned store took on 18 inches of water but that was nothing compared to the eight feet the family’s second store got at the Delcambre location. They were not able to reopen both stores.

“They had to gut the store completely and start over from scratch. The electronics was underwater/ I mean that’s a lot of food completely under water. Just everything gone.” says Vincent.

The Erath location served as a recovery center for families in need after the hurricane. Once the town got back on its feet Champagne’s owners decided it was time to rebuild. “That’s a good thing you know to keep a family business going and to watch them grow into it.”

Vincent says her family is happy they were able to get the store up and running again and hope to continue serving the town of Erath. “They don’t have to travel. there is a lot of elderly in this town so they don’t have to travel far to get groceries. So it’s a big help to this community.”

Vincent says it took about a year and a half to get the supermarket rebuilt and back to what it is today.

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