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NSU Hurricane Harvey Recovery Team
The volunteers helped a family in Port Arthur, Texas.
Students spend Christmas break doing relief work
Four months after hurricane, there is still work to be done
Dr. Curt Phifer

NATCHITOCHES – A group of NSU students spent three days of their Christmas break giving aid to Texas residents who are still suffering the effects of Hurricane Harvey, the storm that made landfall on the Texas coast last August with floodwaters that inundated thousands of homes.

Knowing that hundreds of homes still have not been cleaned out in the four months since Harvey flooded southeast Texas, Dr. Curt Phifer, a professor in the Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State University, recruited six students and a friend to work with Operation Blessing International, an agency that coordinates relief work world-wide. This was the third student team Phifer has helped do hurricane Harvey recovery work.

The group assisted James and Debby Bitcham, Port Arthur, Texas, residents, whose home had flooded up to the ceilings.

“This meant all walls, ceilings, floors and insulation had to be removed to rid the house of black mold,” Phifer said. “The team had a surprise when they discovered a honeybee hive in the wall of a seldom-used bedroom. Removal of the bees and hive slowed the team’s work, but they were rewarded with fresh honey from the comb.”

The team thanks alumni and the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health for financial support.