Home of the Yellowstone Wolf

2008 Volunteer Work Trip
to Mississippi to rebuild after Katrina

When our team of ten got to the job site they assigned four of us to do electrical work. I was one of the group of electricians. Our main tasks were to finish stringing the electrical wires and cable, telephone and CAT5 lines. This had to be done before the volunteers that were hanging wallboard could do their job. Fortunately there were sections of the house in which this part was completed. There were three different crews from Camp Biloxi and also a team of students that were part of a program run by the state to give these people the necessary training to work in the construction industry. After the wallboard was up the electricians would follow through and install the outlets, lights and other electrical fixtures.

They found out that one of the electricians was actually a mason so he was reassigned to do masonry work. His wife, also an electrician, was assigned to help him. In one fell swoop the electrician crew was cut in half. While our primary assignment was electrical work, we also did other tasks that were required to allow the wallboard hangers to keep working. We did some carpentry work and helped the mason. We also finished the attic floor so the wallboard crew could finish the ceiling.

All electricity to the building was extension cords from Mike's place. One of our goals was to get far enough along to turn on the electical panel. When we finally did that there was all kinds of smoke and sparking. The electrical contractors had wired one of the circuits incorrectly and everything shorted out. We eventually got the electical panel rewired and functional. A lot of the wires in the terminal boxes were either cut or the insulation was stripped so we had to correct all of those problems.

We finished hanging the wallboard on the first floor and decided to continue on the second floor rather than going back for new assignments.

Mike was at the job site every day. He would drive people to get supplies as needed and he would also pitch in with the work. One day I saw a person going through the house cleaning up and moving everything. It was Mike. He wanted to get the house ready for Miss Beverly to visit. This would be the first time she would see the house since Katrina. She had been living in one of the FEMA trailers since Katrina. It was actually a mobile home supplied by FEMA and not one of the trailers the media liked to show all of the time. This is a picture of the first floor after we finished hanging the wallboard. It was ready for painting..

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