"Can Do" Seabees Provide Housing In Pass Christian - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/03/05

"Can Do" Seabees Provide Housing In Pass Christian

The "can do" spirit of the Seabees is helping provide some much needed housing in Pass Christian. A contingent of Navy builders is about to finish work on a "small neighborhood" just off Second Street.

The Seabees say they're "proud to be a part" of hurricane recovery in one of the areas hardest hit by Katrina.

A former baseball field in downtown Pass Christian will soon house a small community. Seventy four wood frame, canvas covered structures will become temporary homes for families who lost everything.

Seabee, Rick Noble, is helping supervise the construction.

"It's not the best. It's not what they were probably used to. But I think it's going to work out for them," he said.

Seabees from Virginia, Georgia, Florida and D.C. are doing what they do best. Military work crews are motivated by the need which surrounds them.

"That's probably the hardest part about being here. Just seeing the debris and all the people without homes now," said Seabee, James Adams.

Paul Carlen was especially touched by the storm damage. He once called the coast home.

"I drove down 90. I used to live down here. Everything I knew is gone. There's no words to describe it," Carlen said.

Building the temporary housing camp is just a small part of the Seabee's mission in the Pass. The visiting troops have also helped restore public utilities, they've cleared city streets; they've even built some temporary facilities for the Pass Christian Police Department.

Seabees told us they're proud to be a part of the rebuilding, though their first venture into the storm ravaged city was rough.

Charles Thomas said it's hard to imagine the destruction.

"Honestly, it reminds me of some of the third world countries we go to, where you don't have a lot of the things we have in the U.S. It's pretty mentally disturbing at times," said Thomas.

That disturbing destruction is now balanced with signs of care and concern, in this case, strong back houses, courtesy of the Navy Seabees.

"That's what we do. Can do spirit," said Seabee Adams.

The Seabees are almost finished with the temporary houses.  The first families are expected to move in later this week.

By Steve Phillips

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