Big Lake grocery store picks up pieces after quake

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The community of Big Lake sits less than 10 miles from the epicenter of last Friday's 7.0 earthquake. While local businesses are focused on their recovery, strong aftershocks through the weekend were a constant reminder that Big Lake got the brunt of the tremors.

Items fell off shelves at the Big Lake Three Bears store during Friday's earthquake. (KTUU)

The Three Bears bulk food store location in Big Lake saw some of the worst damage in its chain. Their other locations were back open at a limited capacity within a day, but the damage at this store had crews working around the clock to get the doors open again.

According to Jim Kolb, the manager of marketing for Three Bears Alaska, the crew hoped to be open by Monday, but as of Saturday, there was a lot of work left to do.

"The shelves have collapsed and all the product was lost, in this store we've got huge cracks running throughout. We had a cooler in the back that actually sank down and the liquor stores are just absolutely demolished. Thousands and thousands of dollars of product all over the floor. Glass everywhere," said Kolb.

Until that store reopens, customers in need of food and water are being redirected to the closest stores still open for business, at Pittman Road and in Wasilla.

Kolb's crew is determined to get the store back up and running in time to alleviate the on-going recovery efforts.

"We know its a valuable part of Big Lake so we're trying to get it up and running best we can," said Kolb.

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