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Disaster Rebuilding Continues in Hattiesburg - Dec. 8th report


Hattiesburg  Dec. 4-7

We hope you are able to keep warm with the cool temperatures.  The temps in southern MS have really changed!  Earlier this week it got up to 81, and yesterday and today it was in the low to mid 40’s with a good amount of rain.  There is a winter storm warning for Friday with an expected 1-3 inches of snow.  Our challenge has been working in a house with no heat and no indoor plumbing. 

We welcomed the owners of two RVs last weekend.  Kathy Phillips from Florida is looking forward to seeing snow on Friday of this week.  Phil and Donna Fairchild from Tennessee also joined us on Saturday.    The team is having a lot of fun working and seeing the house improving.  Chirs, the agency Volunteer Coordinator, said to us that she feels like it is starting to look and feel like a house.   She and Darrell have been great about getting us supplies to keep us going!

At Miss Sherrie’s house we were able to finish the laminate floor in the hall and living room.  Kathy and Phil did most of that with help from Gene and Carolyn.  Karen helped to supply them with boards to help get this job finished on Thursday.  Donna put ceramic tile down in two of the bathrooms and Carolyn put ceramic tile in the laundry room.  Both of them also grouted and sealed the tile.  On Thursday Donna laid out and put down the ceramic tile.  Phil and Carolyn also helped get this job done.  Morris and Carolyn cut a lot of the tile for the laundry room and first bathroom.   Donna and Kathy learned how to use the wet saw to cut  tile.  One of the local volunteers, Paul, cut a lot of tile Thursday.  He has been a “gopher” for us so much this week and his work is definitely appreciated.  John is another of the local volunteers.  He has done a lot of work on his house and is very talented.   This week he and Morris worked on putting in most of the doors in the house and they both worked on the pocket door which was was a challenge for them both!  Because there had to be some changes in the walls because of the pocket door, Gene and Carolyn mudded and taped the seams in the bathroom on Thursday.  Karen, Donna, and Carolyn did some painting on the doors and door frames and Donna and Carolyn did some caulking on the door frames.  

Cement board had to be put in the bathrooms and on the floors before tiling.  Gene and Morris did most of the cutting of the board and installed it.  John was a big help on this, too.  

Because of the rain, we had to bring the doors inside to paint.  The house is a little over 900 square feet, and base cabinets had to be moved around so that the floor could be installed.  As the temperatures went down, the agency found a heater to help take off the chill.   We went out to lunch on Wednesday and Thursday where we were able to warm up.  The agency is very pleased with what was accomplished this week.   In spite of the rain and mud, a lot of work got done.   We have had a lot of fun while we have been doing our work.  On a sad note, Karen and Morris said good-bye to their 15 year-old cat on Tuesday night.  Lucy was a sweet cat and will be missed.  

Have a blessed week and keep warm!

Gene & Carolyn Freeman