VIDEO: Templeogue man tells of family's rescue during Tropical Storm Harvey

A local man caught up in Tropical Storm Harvey in the US has told of how he and his family were forced to evacuate their home in Texas as it began to flood.

The active storm, which has made landfall for a second time today, has seen thousands rescued, and up to 30 people have died since last Friday.

Sean O’Loughlin, who is originally from Templeogue, has been living in Texas for 15 years, and speaking to RTE’s Morning Ireland this morning he said his family could have remained in the attic of their home, but officials had been warning residents not to do so.

He said: “It was gradual all day on Sunday, it started at the far end of my street in the morning and by 7pm it was all the way up to my doorstep and then by midnight we had about two feet of water in the house.

“We did think about toughing it out until I just saw the filthy, dirty water… they had been giving warnings to people about not going in their attic because people were getting trapped there, so if I was going into the attic I was supposed to take an axe with me to get my way out of the attic and onto the roof to be rescued and I didn’t fancy that.”

Sean, his wife and their three children were eventually rescued by firefighters who used a volunteer’s boat to rescue them, and they are now staying with friends.

He posted a video to Facebook showing just how high the water levels had risen, and strong currents could be seen in the water – as rain continued to fall for four days.

He said: “We’re able to stay with friends. I was very lucky actually, I had a friend who was driving down to try and help us and he got there right as the boats were dropping us off.

“It was actually kind of ridiculous, the boat ride that we took, I have a video of it on Facebook which looks quite harrowing, but the boats ultimately dropped us about 100ft from our house is.”

Sean is hoping to return to the family home today as water levels begin to decrease, but major clean-up operation will be needed, with the local man saying: “I’m actually hoping to go today.”

He continued: “I ended up actually getting near my house today, I didn’t intend to, we ended up near it, I could have almost got in today so by tomorrow the waters will recede and we can start doing some work on drying it out and tearing out some of the walls and stuff like that.”

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