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Florida Keys Disaster Rebuilding Team Report Oct 11, 2019


Hi from Southern Florida!

We have experienced different conditions than we expected.  The team is parked in a campground between Big Pine Key and Key West.  The area has experienced high tides (King Tide) and almost daily rain and sometimes windy conditions and of course, pesky biting insects. To get to the campground from US 1, we drive through salt water and need to hose down the bottom of our cars daily.  Our team all arrived safely and consists of Sara Donaldson, Kevin and Laura Denison, and Larry and Diane Heald.  

The church welcomed us on Sunday and invited us to a light lunch.  Monday morning we started out slowly, filling out necessary forms for the agency and finding out about the tools that are available to us.  We then went to the two homes we would be working on this week.  Fortunately, they were both air conditioned because it has been in the mid to high 80’s all week.  Larry and Kevin worked on Billy’s house.  Billy had done a lot of his own repairs and then suffered a stroke.  Other teams have worked on his house and Larry and Kevin shortened and installed closet doors in the house.  Then they took on the screen door which was a challenge.  They had to practically rebuild the opening for the door, which was on concrete.  By Wednesday morning they completed the job, finishing the list at Billy’s house.  At the dedication we will give him his Bible.

We have met the homeowners at the second house we're working on. The husband built the house over 30 years ago.  His wife has stage 4 cancer.  They both live with their daughter close by and care for their grandchildren while their daughter is working.  They are the only residents on the street and the street was named after the family.  The first time we went there, we were afraid the water on the road was too deep, but it was only around 4” deep.  Jim, the construction manager, drove his truck back and let us know it was OK for the cars to navigate.  

The work we accomplished here this week includes painting a bedroom and trim.  It was a bright blue and took 3 coats to cover completely.  The louvered door was a challenge to paint, but it got done.  We also had to repair some doors in the room.  Mirrored closet doors had to be removed because they were broken.  Gene taped the breaks so they could be taken out safely.  The painters were Gene, Diane, Lora, Sarah, and Carolyn.  Unfortunately, the new floor had been installed before we painted.  Gene, Diane, Lora, and Carolyn worked on scraping, painting, and caulking the soffits on the walkway deck around the house.  Larry and Kevin put down the subfloor in the master bedroom bath and have most of the vinyl laminate installed.  Lora and Larry worked on putting down some of the subfloor in another bedroom.  Before they could do this, Lora, Sarah, and Carolyn emptied the bedroom.  Kevin helped with getting the large mattress out of it.  

We are all looking forward to a busy week next week!

Gene and Carolyn Freeman, team leaders