Florida volunteers amazed by recovery in Ocean Springs

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Residents of Ocean Springs' sister city are back in town to see the progress made since Hurricane Katrina. City officials hosted a breakfast Friday at the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center for volunteers from The Villages.

The Florida town became a sister city to Ocean Springs after Hurricane Katrina. Residents there raised more than $250,000 in donations, while others volunteered for clean-up and rebuilding work.

They saw the total destruction five years ago, but are even more impressed by the coast's recovery.

"We were here just a couple of days after Katrina, and to see what has taken place over the last five years, the fact that that bridge opened in two and a half years is nothing short of amazing," said Villages resident Doug Tharp.

The group from Florida was also honored at a reception Thursday night for their volunteer efforts. Most say they have made a special bond with the coast and will keep visiting for years to come.

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