Irishman describes being trapped in home during Texas floods

An Irishman living in Houston, Texas said his family was trapped in their home following floods caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Pat Concannon, from Connemara, Co Galway said his home was ruined in the storm.

"I'd seen rain in Galway, but nothing like this. Six inches of water fell in about 20 minutes, it's hard to imagine the amount of rain. I heard the rain coming in and I thought to myself 'wow this is very strong'," he told RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.

He said the water quickly rose to eight feet deep.

"We couldn't leave the house then, we were stuck there for the day," he added.

"There was almost three foot of water in the house, and we’re five foot above the road, so it was eight foot of water in the middle of the road. People were going up and down in boats. The water came up to the dashboard of our cars outside," Pat said.

When they eventually left their home it took over three hours to travel less than half a kilometre to his wife's friend's house.

"The water was very deep and fast-flowing, you couldn’t even lift your leg while you were walking or the water would sweep you away, and if it did you were finished," he added.

Pat, who works in cancer research, has been living in Houston for 12 years and is now staying with his father-in-law.

"Our house was flooded two years ago and it took 10 months to repair the damage. All the furniture is destroyed. We’re staying with my father-in-law at the moment, he has a two-storey house. There were 10 people staying there the night of the flood," he said.

Pat, originally Cor na Rón in the Cois Fharraige area of Connemara, said this is the third time his home had been flooded but this time he is not going back.

"We won't go back this time. We've had enough," he said.

He also expressed doubts that insurance agencies will be able to cover the full cost of the damage.

"There’s too much damage done, so it will be hard to get compensation for it all. I heard that one million cars were flooded, but they’ll only compensate you for the sale price of the car.

"And as well as that the dealerships were flooded, so it’s very difficult to get a car," he added.

Pat, who left Ireland for the US in 1982, added that some people are in an even worse situation.

"It could have been a lot worse. There are 9,000 people still up in the stadium. There is a big area of the city, five miles or so, where people have been told that they can’t go back to their homes for 10 or 15 days because they’re releasing water from the reservoirs," he said.

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