AUGUSTA —The Maine Senate has cleared the way for the bridge over the Sandy Stream in Unity to be renamed in honor of hero firefighter Alton “Mac” McCormick.

In a unanimous vote March 9, senators approved Sen. Chip Curry’s bill, LD 1839, “Resolve, To Name a Bridge in the Town of Unity the Alton ‘Mac’ McCormick Memorial Bridge.” The bridge carries U.S. Route 202 and State Route 9 over the Sandy Stream.

“Mr. McCormick is a local hero and undeniably deserves this recognition,” the Belfast Democrat said. “It has been my honor to get this bill passed …. Hearing from residents of Unity about how important this is to the community is so touching. Our frontline heroes like Mr. McCormick show us what bravery and service are and it means so much to me to be able to honor him.”

Alton McCormick was Unity’s assistant fire chief in Unity in the fall of 1954 during back-to-back Hurricanes Carol and Edna. As the storms battered Maine, floodwaters trapped dozens of people. In Unity, a family of 10 was trapped on top of a car, and neighbors built a human chain to try to rescue them. McCormick helped nine family members survive, but he and one of the children perished.

In the aftermath, Alton McCormick was posthumously awarded the first-ever Civilian Citation for Bravery by then-Gov. Burton Cross.

LD 1839 now goes to Gov. Janet Mills, who has 10 days to either sign the bill, veto it or allow it to become law without her signature.