London News & Search
A devastated British mum and daughter have lost everything after Storm Harvey destroyed their home as floods ripped through Texas.
Tania Wishart and daughter Stephanie were left with just the clothes on their back as water engulfed their entire ground-floor flat in the catastrophic deluge.
Stephen Wishart, who lives in the UK, has told how his mum and sister watched their belongings float away into the street after fleeing to a higher level for safety.
The two Brits, who moved to Dickinson in Texas six years ago from Arbroath in Scotland, are now considering coming back to the UK in a bid to start from scratch.
Mr Wishart, 31 has now set up a fundraising campaign to help the heartbroken pair rebuild their lives.
“My mum woke up in the middle of the night with water in her bedroom and her ground floor apartment flooding,” he said.
“As she opened the door many of her belongings were drifting out onto the street with the water and she saw that her car was completely submerged.
“She and a neighbour made it into a first floor apartment block while the water rose but had to wait for hours before a rescue boat could reach them.
“My mum had nothing more than the clothes on her back, her phone and $20 in her pocket.”
Mr Wishart, who set up the appeal with fiancé Chloe McGreevy added: “There was a lot of debris floating in the water and boats hitting cars and mum really feared for her life as she cannot swim. Eventually, she was taken to a rescue centre in Austin.”
His sister Stephanie was staying with friends on the night of the flood, and is now stranded five hours away from mum Tania.
“Although they are both still separated they are alive which we are so thankful for,” said Mr Wishart.
“As a family we are trying to support them in every way we can and hope they can be reunited soon. At the moment the priority is keeping them warm, dry and making sure they have food. Small things that we take for granted every day.
“We are still unsure of what the next steps are but an option is to come back to the UK and start a life again from scratch. At this point we don’t think insurance will cover a flood like this to help with all of their personal belongings and the car is completely gone.
“Ultimately, everything has been taken from them and they will now need to rebuild their lives and that’s why we have set up this appeal.”
He added: “Any donation no matter how small can make all the difference towards trying to rebuild some sort of life whether that’s over in the US or back here in the UK.”
So far nearly £900 has been raised by just 30 people donating, with some generous donors giving up to £100 each.
At least 31 people have died in the tropical storm, which hit land last weekend as a category four hurricane before being downgraded to a storm and then tropical depression.
Firefighters in Houston – one of the worst hit cities and home to 6.8 million people – are continuing to search thousands of flooded homes to ensure no one is left behind. Authorities expect the death toll to rise.
London News & Search