Tipperary man is brought to safety following Hurricane Harvey

By Tom Ryan


By Tom Ryan

Sean and Pam Ryan at a rodeo in Houston in happier times

Seanie and his wife Pam had to wade through five feet of water to get to safety

A County Tipperary native, now living in Houston, Texas, has told how he and his wife had to wade through five feet of water to safety after Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on the state when it struck late last week.

Seanie Ryan of Thurles, now a soccer referee in Houston, also paid tribute to the “caring spirit and generosity” of the people of Houston, in the
wake of worst Hurricane to hit the United States and which has caused death and destruction on an unprecedented scale.

The former drummer with various bands in Ireland, including Tweed and Kenny Ryder Superband, is now living in Katy, a Texas suburbs. As the hurricane hit Katy and his neighbourhood became flooded he was directed by a US Coast Guard helicopter to a United States Army Truck who brought him and his wife Pamela, to safety in a dry area.

Seanie said ”My wife, Pam, and I, carrying our two pups, Rosie and
Pickles in a basket, had to wade through some five feet of water to
get to the truck. You do it when you have to. Subsequently we were
offered accommodation in the home of friends who, ironically, were only
about two miles away but actually in a dry area where we could walk
the dogs next day. Crazy!".

Sean said “You know people around the world may say different things about America and President Donald Trump but I could not begin to describe the generosity and caring spirit of the wonderful people of Houston, black, white, Asian Indian, all races and creeds. It was so wonderful – people, many complete strangers we never met before offering us food, accommodation and even an office if my wife wanted to do her work! We received any kind of help we wanted".

He also told how Police helicopters had hovered over his neighbourhood all night with floodlights protecting their homes from looters while Coastguard
helicopters were involved in rescue operations like the one that came
to their assistance.

"People just came up to us all the time saying “what can I do for you’ Now that’s the outstanding spirit of Houston and it should always be like that. People were just so outstanding in every way.”said Sean, a professional colleges soccer referee in Houston.

Meanwhile Seanie and Pam do not know quite what to expect when they
eventually go back to their home - they hope they may be lucky in that respect and that the damage is minimal but are so thankful to be alive and so grateful to the great people of Katy and Houston.

Meanwhile they are looking forward to November 4 and the wedding of their son, Kevin, a published journalist/writer to Caroline McKinzie Phillips.

Sean is brother of Thurles journalist/author, Tom Ryan, Rahealty and Pat Ryan, 30 Kennedy Park, Thurles.