Firefighters prepare for relief mission in Texas

Firefighters prepare for relief mission in Texas

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Relief crews in Biloxi are getting ready to head out to Texas to help people hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. Thursday and Friday, teams will drive 10 hours to Rockport, a small town devastated by 130 mph winds.

The volunteers include several firefighters, who, along with others, will help repair the homes of first responders. They are also bringing three trailers filled with supplies.

"One is for supplies, one is for tools and one is for a heavy piece of equipment that we've made arrangements to rent in Corpus Christi," said Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney.

The two teams will spend a week on the relief mission. Boney said the firefighters decided to go to Rockport after peaking with the city's fire department.

"They were very happy to hear our call and wanted us to come," said Boney. "They've had some volunteers in Rockport since the storm, but what they're really looking for is another fire department to help them get set up."

In addition to repairing homes, the teams will also establish a donation center for long-term use.

"We're going to help them set up quarters to house visiting volunteers, as we did in the wake of Katrina," said Boney. "Some of our people also are going to work on firefighters homes in Rockport. In some cases, these men haven't even been able to touch their homes."

While this relief effort is heading to Texas, Boney said the victims of Hurricane Irma in Florida have not been forgotten.

"The thing people have to understand is that the work we do is done a week or two after the incident. The people we help have to have already worked with their insurance company and made decisions on what they're going to do with their property," said Boney. "Once those decisions are made, and once things settle down, we move in and do the most good. We're headed to Texas right now, and although we're planning to help in Florida, we don't have specific plans yet."

If you would like to help, the Biloxi Fire Museum is still taking donations. So far, the GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $3,500 for hurricane relief.

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