JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - While many people in our area enjoyed an extended holiday weekend thanks to the snow, others were working Saturday to make up for their losses.
News 5 discovered one of the area's most popular drink companies is playing catch-up after this week's winter weather put their jobs on freeze.
Tim Swecker is the manager at the Johnson City PepsiCo Bottling Company.
Swecker opened the center on Saturday to help them catch up on deliveries. "We do approximately 100,000 to 110,000 cases a week," said Swecker.
But this week, Mother Nature put thousands of those Pepsi drink deliveries on hold. "Usually the snow scare increases the demand. You see the rush in the stores. One of the items that people look for, in addition to the bread and the milk and the eggs, is sodas and snacks," said Swecker.
Swecker tells us his bottling center serves grocery stores, convenience stores, and restaurants from Greeneville, to Abingdon, to Surgoinsville.
But getting these big delivery trucks over the rugged, snowy and icy terrain proved to be a no-go Thursday, so workers like John Harkleroad were called in Saturday to get caught up on the job. "[Friday] we ran two days into one. And [Saturday] has been like your normal end of the week would be," said John Harkleroad, delivery driver.
Harkleroad tells us Thursday was a rough weather day, but he's seen worst days in his 30 years of delivering drinks. "I can remember times back when I first started here, it was like three days when we didn't go out when it got down to 20 below zero. The roads stayed bad," said Harkleroad.
Swecker admits there are added costs to opening up shop on Saturday, but he believes safety should take priority over product. "We err on the side of safety, to make sure our employees are safe. That's what we want to make sure we do all the time, because we can always make up getting product out," said Swecker.
Pepsi says this isn't the first time it's been delayed this winter due to icy roads.
Crews say they are all caught up on deliveries after the extra work on Saturday.
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