Ohio Mayor Helps Rebuild Gautier - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Ohio Mayor Helps Rebuild Gautier

"It's just like Christmas."   

It might have been September, but Tuesday, it was the holiday season for Alma Sue Hays.   

 "I wasn't expecting any volunteers til next month. The heat more or less drove them off," Hays said.   

But volunteers from Marrietta, Ohio, including the mayor, came to help fix the 80-year-old Gautier woman's hurricane damaged house. Tuesday, they put the finishing touches on Hays' home.   

"When you put your boots on the ground and a hammer in your hand, that's some good stuff. So we're doing it with our wallets, we're doing it with our hearts, and doing it with our hands," Mayor Mullen said.     

This FEMA trailer is where Hays has lived for nearly a year, but now she'll be moving back into her home. Mayor Mullen is glad to help, and says that he knows how the people of Gautier feel, from personal experience.   

"Even though we're a thousand miles apart, there's a lot in common. It seems like crisis brings out the best in people, and we saw it in our town when just two years ago to the day, had five feet of water in about 40 percent of our city," Mullen said.   

So the mayor used his experience with flood disasters and put them to work, leaving Hays with a renovated home and gratitude.   

"It just breaks my heart wanting to thank them, and words are not enough," Hays said.     

Mullen says that the best thing about helping to rebuild in Gautier is that it gave his city a chance to give back, after they had been given so much just two years ago.   

By Keli Rabon

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