Tourist gives up a day of vacation to help out in N.O. East

Tourist gives up a day of vacation to help out in N.O. East

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - More than a week after homes in the East were rocked by a tornado, several volunteers and homeowners shifted from debris removal to roof mitigation as they rushed to protect what they have left ahead of rainstorms.

Geo Honigford, a volunteer who is vacationing in New Orleans from Vermont, worked quickly under a darkening sky as he tried to patch up a stranger's roof.

"I was actually just cleaning up debris piles and I saw these guys up on the roof floundering, and I had done some roofing before and I said, 'Can I help?' So now I switched over, I'm back up on the roof, but if we can't get another tarp we'll be in trouble," Honigford said.

Andrea Jean Marie was trying to figure out how she would patch her roof before Honigford offered the assist.

"We've got a guardian angel here, so that has been a tremendous help. I'm looking at the sky looking at my watch and checking the weather on my phone and hoping we can get it on before the rain comes in, we're trying to protect what we can so we can get it repaired," Jean Marie said.

Honigford has been in Jean Marie's position before - one reason why he offered to help in the middle of his vacation.

"We had a flood up there [in Vermont] five, six years ago, and a lot of people showed up at my place to help me out, so I know what it means to have other people help me, so it's my turn to pay it back," Honigford said.

It's payback that nails down a real start to a new beginning.

"I don't even know how to express my gratitude, because we've had Tulane students, we've had students from City Church, Red Cross, people from everywhere, volunteers from everywhere, I don't even know what to say. I've just been so grateful for the help," Jean Marie said.

Honigford said he's happy to make a difference, even if it means missing out on a day of what the Crescent City does best.

"Well, yeah, you know, I guess I can give up drinking beer for one day to help. I'll still be drinking beer tonight!" he joked.

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