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Rockport 'pays it forward' with hurricane relief

Posted at 10:17 PM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-12 00:19:02-04

ROCKPORT, Texas — After Rockport was devastated by Hurricane Harvey three years ago, aid in a variety of kinds poured into the community from across the country and even world.

That’s why lots of Rockport residents, businesses, and emergency service departments sprang into action to help communities in Louisiana that were devastated by Hurricane Laura in late August.

"We saw (hurricane devastation) firsthand,” Melanie Head, owner of the Rockport Branch of TWFG Insurance said. "So we knew immediately that there was no choice but to give back and give forward to those who have suffered.”

Head says essentially all of her policyholders filed claims after Harvey. Immediately she went to work processing them, working off a generator, because her office had no power.

“As an insurance agent, I lived through each and every one of my clients,” she said. “That’s part of my drive, I think, to get everyone else back on their feet.”

Her office on Market Street in Rockport is one of many locations in which Head and fellow business owner Shana Brader are accepting donations. That aid has come in from lots of residents, businesses, and churches including Port of the Rock Church led by Pastor Deborah Wright.

“One of the scriptures in the Bible says to help others with what you’ve been helped,” Wright said. “That to me says it all. You just want to help as soon as you find out someone’s been through what you’ve been.”

“We just went through so much in Hurricane Harvey,” Brader said. “It was just obvious that the people in Louisiana were just struggling.”

The Rockport Police Department led a relief supply drive of their own, driving a moving truck full of those supplies to the town of Iowa, La., on Tuesday.

When they got there, it wasn’t just what they saw that brought back bad memories.

“When we arrived in Iowa, we heard those sounds that were so prevalent after Hurricane Harvey,” Commander Larry Sinclair said. “(We heard) the sounds of generators running and chainsaws and things of that nature, and it really did bring it back home.”

Not to be outdone by their brothers in blue, the Rockport Fire Department donated man-hours to the relief effort in Quincy, La. Five RFD firefighters assisted with emergency calls and damage cleanup efforts there last weekend.