Hurricane Irma

Rockland harbor master to lend assistance in storm’s wake

Posted:  Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 11:45am
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ROCKLAND – Rockland Harbor Master Matt Ripley heads to Florida, Tuesday, Sept. 12, to lend assistance in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Through his own desire, he coordinated the trip, knowing most relief efforts were in Texas, according to Assistant Harbor Master Mark Tibbetts.

Here in Maine, Ripley gathered eight tons of water through donations, along with a variety of other items.

He and a few retired coast guard members traveling with him plan on making contact with FEMA once they find out locations of the worst impacted areas. The plan is to assist FEMA in any way possible, Tibbetts said.

In the past, Ripley has worked with a variety of local state and government agencies ranging from FEMA to local sheriff departments, and he has been stationed in Rockland and St. Augustine, Florida.

As a naval engineer in the Coast Guard, Ripley supervised personnel in shipboard and small boat engineering maintenance, search and rescue operations, waterfront projects, drug interdiction, migrant operations, ship repair, law enforcement, and training, among other things.

Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys Saturday, Sept. 10 before making it's way up the state. In preparation, shelters opened days before the storm. The storm picked up steam over the southern Atlantic Ocean as a category 5 hurricane. By the time it made landfall, the storm had started to weaken, but still left behind destruction, downed trees, and power outages.

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Riding out Hurricane Irma in Florida

Sarah Thompson can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com