Rain Soaks Volunteers, But Most Habitat Work Goes On

BILOXI (WLOX) -- The inch of rain that soaked Biloxi Thursday morning shut down Habitat for Humanity's framing frenzy. So, just hours before the closing ceremonies, those volunteers had an unscheduled day off. But for everybody else working on the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project, the downpour was simply a minor inconvenience.

In fact, constant tapping of hammers drowned out the pitter patter of Thursday's raindrops. A rather wet Margaret Lozar described the storm by saying, "We had a couple of deluges. That's for sure."

Yet Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project volunteers ignored the mess and focused on their mission.

According to Mandy Caruso, "We kind of didn't care about the rain and the mud. We just kind of knew we had to get this done."

While putting siding on one of the 10 new homes in east Biloxi, Lozar confidently said, "It will get done. We have confidence. No doubt about it."

What impressed the man in charge of the 10 construction projects in east Biloxi was that every one of his volunteers stuck around and worked in less than ideal conditions. Victor Alfsen is the area manager in Biloxi.

"I don't think they took anybody back to the Beau. They all stayed out here, waited for the rain to clear. Now, we've got a good afternoon, ready to rock and roll," he said.

On top of a ladder at house number two in east Biloxi, Mandy Duval had a hammer in her hand, and mud caked to her jeans.  She epitomized the spirit of these Habitat volunteers.

"I prefer to be looking like I worked," she said with a laugh. "It's awesome."

Back on the muddy ground, Mandy Caruso admitted, "We're a little farther behind than we wanted to be and we really don't want to leave without the job being finished. We came here to do a project. And we want to see it through."

Caruso's crew wasn't going to let a few muddy puddles interfere with its rebuilding mission.