Stephen’s plea for loved ones who lost all in Texas flooding

VICTIMS: Stephen’s mum, Tania Wishart, and his sister, Stephanie, lost everything in the devastating floods in Texas brought by Hurricane Harvey
VICTIMS: Stephen’s mum, Tania Wishart, and his sister, Stephanie, lost everything in the devastating floods in Texas brought by Hurricane Harvey
By Conor McParland

A MAN whose family lost everything in the devastating floods that have hit Texas has set up and appeal to help them rebuild their shattered lives.
Stephen Wishart’s mum Tania and sister Stephanie started a new life in Dickinson, Texas six years ago. The town was at the centre of the humanitarian crisis that struck Texas and they lost their home, car and possessions as Hurricane Harvey hit land.
Stephen says none of the family knows at this point whether Tania and Stephanie’s future lies in Texas or back home in Belfast – but for now he’s focused on making sure they have what they need to see them through the crisis.
Assisted by his fiancée Chloe McGreevy, Stephen decided to set up the appeal to help his mum and sister who lost everything, including their home, car and personal belongings.
Describing the women’s ordeal as the floodwaters rose, Stephen said: “My mum woke up in the middle of the night with water in her bedroom and her ground floor apartment flooding. As she opened the door many of her belongings were drifting out on to 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.
“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. However, she is now five hours away from my sister who was staying with friends that night.
“Although they are still separated they are alive, which we are so thankful for. 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. 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.”
To support Stephen’s appeal to help the family, you’re asked to visit https://www.just giving.com/crowdfunding/stephen-wishart

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