Rockport, Maine, may be thousands of miles from Rockport, Texas, – but when people in the northeast coastal community saw the hurricane damage in Texas, they knew the distance didn’t matter.
“We’re sitting pretty up here, and they’re devastated down there,” said Rockport Maine Selectman Owen Casas. “Anything we can do to help, we figured was the right thing to do.”
Six firefighters from Rockport, Maine, have volunteered to deploy to Texas, to relieve fellow first responders. Casas, who is in regular contact with Rockport, Texas officials, says about 80 percent of the Rockport, Texas firefighters have lost their homes and personal possessions.
“They’ve been out straight, and they can’t even get back to their own homes to deal with whatever issues they’re having,” said Justin Ford, Rockport, Maine volunteer firefighter. “It’s heartbreaking.”
Ford said he and fellow firefighters from Maine are waiting for state approval to deploy to Texas. They are prepared to go at a moment’s notice, and ready to bring supplies like bottled water and generators.
While they wait for that call, they are asking the community to send donations. Town selectmen voted Tuesday night to authorize an account at the Town Office, where Rockport, Maine residents can directly donate to people Rockport, Texas.
They have also set up an online fundraising GoFundMe page, which has raised thousands of dollars in just a few hours.
“When push comes to shove, and people step up, it makes you really proud of your town,” said Casas.