Relief workers have satisfying week in Port St. Joe

“It was a very satisfying week,” Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney declared this morning in a report to Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich about last week’s weeklong relief trip to the small Hurricane Michael-ravaged town of Port St. Joe.

About 60 volunteer relief workers – representing fire departments from Biloxi, Keesler, New Sharon (Iowa), and Tyndall and Eglin air force bases – worked in two-day shifts throughout the week, gutting and clearing 25 homes that suffered major damage from the wind and waves of the Category 5 storm that struck the Florida panhandle a month ago.

For the Biloxi Fire Department and the organizing West End Hose Co. No. 3 Fire Museum, it was the largest relief effort of the dozen or so trips the group has made to disaster sites since Hurricane Katrina. Biloxi had 25 workers in the 60-person contingent.

“We worked on a number of homes that belonged to first responders,” Boney said, “but it was not limited to that. The last home we did was for an 82-year-old couple that had no family.

“In another case, the pastor of the Church of the Nazarene approached us and wanted to us to look their youth center. It had two big pine trees on it. We were able to take chainsaws and remove those trees, and now the congregation is about to use the youth center. Their church was heavily damaged, and it’s covered by insurance, but at least now they have the youth center. That was something that helped a whole group of people, and it felt great.”
Gallery: See photos from Port St. Joe
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News & notes: Development, Hiller, Popp’s Ferry, council

Development: Community Development Director Jerry Creel reports that permits are running $28 million ahead of this time last year. To see the weekly reports for Police, Community Development and Engineering, click here.

Hiller pond: A project is in the works to remove silt from the pond at Hiller Park. A city purchase order has been approved to fund the work, but no date set yet on when work would begin.

Popp’s Ferry extension: A public hearing will be conducted this evening to update the Popp’s Ferry extension project to include an east-west access road to the Coast Coliseum.  To see notice of the meeting, which will be at 6 p.m. the Donal M. Snyder Sr. Community Center, click here.

Council meeting: The Biloxi City Council meets this afternoon at 1:30 at City Hall. To see the agenda and supporting documents, click here.