Katrina's Wrath Helps Local City

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) - Officials say a food products plant that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina will relocate to McAlester.

Louisiana-based Diversified Foods and Seasonings purchased the
old Simmons plant in McAlester. Diversified makes products used by the restaurant industry, including Culinary Creations, New Orleans Chefs Creations, Culinary Collections and Casa San Louisa.

Company president Richard Chapman says Diversified closed the deal to buy the building last week. Chapman says the facility is strategically located to rail lines and major highways.

He says Diversified had been looking for another plant, but the deadly hurricane that hit the Gulf Coast in late August accelerated the process.

The company's plant in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie was destroyed. The company still has plants in Alabama, Madisonville, Louisiana and San Antonio.

Diversified will receive some state Department of Commerce incentives as well as 50-thousand dollars from local entities if they hire and retain at least 50 people for three years.