TA Team Members Keep Site Open During Texas Storms
Brian Hatchett, franchise owner and operator of our TA Express sites in Carthage, Nacogdoches, and Kilgore, Texas said the recent snow storms in the state were unlike anything he’s ever seen before.
“Out of nowhere, East Texas got between 10 and 13 inches of snow. We can usually handle that, but this time, we couldn’t because of the sub-zero temperatures. The amount of ice that formed forced Interstate-20 to shut down, leaving truck drivers with nowhere to go,” Brian said.
He was forced to make the decision to stay open or close completely. General Manager Richard Lee of TA Express Kilgore helped him make the decision easy. Richard said they were going to stay open, and he was going to help.
Since the interstate was shut down and the roads nearly impassable, Richard got in his pickup truck, put it in four-wheel drive and drove his team members to and from work for five days in a row, over the course of three shifts, with six to seven people per shift.
“The only way we could have stayed open is if Richard went to the homes of our team members and helped transport them,” Brian said. “Additionally, Assistant Manager Cindy Wadlington really helped by getting herself there each and every day and running the show while Richard was transporting.”
Since the other sites could not stay open, Brian was able to get food from the Denny’s restaurants at Carthage, Nacogdoches and the one next door to Kilgore. They had plenty of chicken strips, salad, hamburgers, eggs and bacon to feed the stranded drivers. Knowing the storm was coming, Brian previously stocked up the travel store with snacks and supplies in the days prior.
“We were able to keep feeding the drivers and provide them with showers. And when the snow started to subside, we spent all day Friday helping shovel drivers out. I couldn’t be more proud of my team.”
Local news station KLTV interviewed some drivers stranded at TA Express Kilgore. View the story here: https://www.kltv.com/2021/02/19/truckers-passing-through-taking-refuge-east-texas-truck-stops/