Florida woman spends three weeks helping with Hurricane Laura recovery efforts

Florida woman spends three weeks helping with Laura recovery efforts

Hackberry, La. (WTVY / KPLC) - Just as she returns home from helping with Hurricane Laura recovery efforts in Louisiana, one Florida woman is now preparing for another big storm.

This devastation caused by Hurricane Laura is a familiar picture for those hit by Hurricane Michael.

Crystal Gainey, of Bonifay, Florida, is one of the people still recovering from that storm, but she dropped what she was doing to be there for those who are now living through the nightmare she experienced two years ago.

“Michael learned me a new respect and humbled me a little bit," Gainer said. “It also, it’s what made me realize I knew what this town needed, and I knew I could help them.”

Gainey headed to Hackberry before Hurricane Laura ripped through to help clean up immediately after the storm hit.

“I came in with the Cajun Navy," Gainey said. “We cleared all their major roads, made sure that everyone had access for medical and supplies.”

That task took a few days to complete.

“When everybody else went to leave I just couldn’t do it," Gainey said. “I know how these little towns struggle. I just couldn’t leave them without any volunteers.”

Listening to her heart, a trip that she planned to last days turned into weeks.

“I knew that I could help them because I did a lot of the same thing after Hurricane Michael," Gainey said. “I know the process. I knew the importance of getting the roofs tarped and I tarped plenty of them after Michael.”

But helping a town devastated by a hurricane took more than just her two hands.

Hundreds of miles away, the same people in her hometown who were still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael sent essential supplies and food for those dressing a fresh wound.

“Ever since I rolled my wheels into Hackberry, I’ve been supported by the people of my community - majority of them being in the Wiregrass and Panhandle area,” Gainey said.

Gainey is spending time with her children after three weeks apart from them but says she will help with Hurricane Sally recovery efforts if needed.

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