The people along South Carolina's Grand Strand sent their best public works teams to the Pass and told them to clean out the city's hurricane damaged drainage system. They came armed with everything except cold weather gear.
"We did not expect this," Myrtle Beach Public Works Supervisor Doc Rehm admitted.
The surprisingly cool temperatures did nothing to slow down the determined group of Myrtle Beach public works employees. They have 120 miles of Pass Christian ditches to dig out. And they only have 10 days to complete their mission.
"I just feel that people need to help each other out, and do whatever they can," Rehm said.
Pass Christian once had 22 people in its own public works department; however, since the hurricane, that number is down to nine. So having a big group from South Carolina come into town with big trucks that can flush out city drains is vitally important to Pass Christian recovery efforts. Mike Pavlisick oversees Pass Christian's Public Works Department.
"With all these crews coming in, we've got three times the equipment we ever had. So it's helping us a great deal," he said.
Norman Wilson is on the Myrtle Beach public works team. He enjoys being on the giving side of this mission. This is his second trip to the Pass since Katrina.
"It looks a lot better than it was the first time I came here," he said.
His city, plus North Myrtle Beach and the two counties in that section of South Carolina donated their people and their equipment to the Pass Christian recovery project.
"We realize that one day it could happen to us," Rehm said, explaining why this mission was so important to the Grand Strand community.
One day he knows, "We're going to need assistance from everyone else."
The ditch digging project is actually the brainchild of the International City Managers Association.
By Brad Kessie
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