Ike-ravaged Oak Island getting new homes thanks to Neil Diamond

Ike-ravaged Oak Island getting new homes thanks to Neil Diamond

by Rucks Russell / 11 News

Posted on November 17, 2009 at 8:19 AM

OAK ISLAND, Texas ? Residents in the Chambers County community of Oak Island are singing the praises of music legend Neil Diamond. Still struggling to recover more than a year after Hurricane Ike, they are crediting Diamond with single-handedly giving their town a new breath of life.

”I think he’s helped bring us closer together than ever before,” said Wayne Dearman, an 85-year-old Chambers County native. ”I think his parents must have instilled good values in him because he cares about his fellow man.”

This week, contractors will begin installing 14 brand new modular homes for residents who lost their houses during Hurricane Ike.

Entertainer Neil Diamond helped raise close to $2 million for the project over the last year.

”And he doesn’t even know us, but it didn’t make a difference to him,” Dearman said.

Contractors plan to use cranes to hoist the houses onto pylons planted 12 feet above sea level.

Each of the modular homes has two sections and three bedrooms.

Recipients like Dearman find it hard to believe they will soon be back in a home they can call their own. ”I thought this day would never come. Now I see that it almost has,” he said.

The construction work was due to get under way Monday, but high winds forced a delay.

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