Belfast Telegraph

Hurricane Harvey: Northern Ireland man talks of biblical devastation in Houston

A Northern Ireland man has spoken of how his Houston neighbourhood has become an ocean in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Harvey was the fiercest hurricane to hit the US in 13 years, generating an amount of rain that would normally be seen only once in more than 1,000 years.

A huge deluge of rainfall has hit the city of Texas - America's fourth largest - since Friday. There has been so much downfall it is being measured in feet rather than inches.  While it has been downgraded into a tropical storm it continues to cause chaos and more heavy rain is expected.

Many have been left injured and out of their homes and six members of one family are feared dead.

Downpatrick man Chris Bohill has been living in Houston for the past 12 years. He spoke of the "sheer devastation" of the past days.

He told RTE News: "I have never seen anything like it in my life. Where I live there was a park and a baseball field now it's just an ocean. It is phenomenal.

"We are very lucky where we are, but there are many parts that have been devastated. They have been calling for people with specialist vehicles to help with the rescue effort. There are downtown areas that are just submerged.

Chris Bohill, originally from Co Down but now living in Houston, says the heavy flooding in Houston is ‘horrendous’

Posted by RTÉ News on Sunday, August 27, 2017

He said that the public were well prepared for the hurricane with shops picked clean of supplies in the run up. He said that they had spent the past few days watching the water inch closer to his home.

"Thank goodness it stopped," he said, "otherwise we would have had to evacuate.

"Watching the news has been absolutely horrendous - water is just everywhere. There is nearly 7 million people in this city and large parts of it are underwater."

President Trump has promised to support those in need of help. It is estimated that some 500,000 people have been affected.

Mr Trump said those affected would get what they need.

He added: "We will get through this. We will come out stronger and believe me we will be bigger, better, stronger than ever before."

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