Macon drugstore reopens days after building collapse so residents get their medication

MACON, Miss. (WCBI) – Monday, City Drugstore in Macon was open again, just days after the building collapsed on employees Thursday.

“Because of our patients,” says owner and pharmacist Bill Bell. “We had to be back up and running as soon as possible.”

The back of the building was unaffected by the partial collapse, they are operating out of their storeroom on Lawrence Street.

“Once we were able to see that all of our employees were safe and alive, then we were able to start thinking about moving forward,” Bell says.

As one of only two drugstores in Macon, Bell says they knew they had to be able to at least fill prescriptions for residents.

“None of the two pharmacies are able, with what they normally do, to take on the other pharmacy’s full-time business,” Bell says.

Bell says they were able to set up temporary walls between the debris and the storeroom so that they can continue to fill those prescriptions.

“We got IT in here and wholesalers help and carpenters help and everything else and have been able, in three days, to move our prescription department,” Bell says.

“I’m just happy that we’re able to be back in here,” says pharmacy technician Layla Franks. “I’m just blessed to be able to work back there with everybody and that everybody’s alive.”

Franks was one of the people inside when the building came down and says it will take some time for things to feel normal again.

“(I’m) not even close. It’s more mental,” she says. “Really just, everything runs back through your mind about having to get out.”

Bell and Franks say the community has already lent its help in so many ways, and both just ask for patience as they do their best to find their footing.

“A lot of companies from the community and around the county have come to help us recover and rebuild,” Franks says.

“The city of Macon has been absolutely great,” Bell says.

Bell says they will have a contractor come in during the week to demolish and remove the collapsed part of the building. He says they will then have to decide whether they want to rebuild there or at a different location.

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