Crisfield has long been called the crab capital of the word. If you’ve had Chesapeake Bay seafood, chances are good it had something to do with this end of the road town, but it’s also one of Maryland’s poorest communities and it took a direct hit from Hurricane Sandy.
“We’ve never seen devastation like this before,” says Evelyn Dorman.
Dorman’s story is typical of hundreds in Crisfield. She was home when the flood waters overwhelmed the entire town.
“It was coming in, coming in,” she says. “It was this deep inside the house.”
Hazel Cropper says in her house up the street from Dorman’s that water reached her windows.
“I lost everything I had on the first floor,” says Cropper.
All through town sidewalks are littered with the soggy belongings of displaced residents. In the heart of town Crisfield’s landmark dock was ruined by Sandy.
But then an amazing thing happened. Word spread that the town needed help and volunteers from all across the country have flocked to the small town.
The Methodist church has gathered bags of food and heaters are being distributed. Two-hundred willing workers are expected to show up Saturday. It’s an outpouring of support which apparently began with a viral email saying ‘If you’ve ever had a crab cake, go help Crisfield.’”
“I talked to a man from Oregon who was willing to fly here to help clean up yards,” says Adam Riggin.
Riggin is coordinating the volunteer effort. Dorman says she’ll be forever grateful for the strangers who pulled out her carpet and got a tarp on her damaged roof.
“Thank you Lord,” she says. “You know that all these wonderful volunteers have helped all of us, the whole community.”
Sadly, the need is likely to linger for months.
Crisfield relief fund donations can be made at any PNC Bank . Checks can also be mailed to: PO Box 292 Crisfield, MD 21817.