How Hurricane Harvey has left north man homeless

Colin Mackie after Hurricane Harvey wreaked havock on his home in Houston, USA.

A north man has told how he and his family have been left living in a hotel after Hurricane Harvey wrecked their Texas home.

The Mackies left Inverness nine years ago and have a house in Brazoria, south of Houston, Texas.

But they have been staying in a hotel for about three weeks due to the havoc wreaked by the weather phenomenon.

Colin Mackie, who has a wife, a teenage son and two dogs, said nearly all of their possessions had been lost.

“A lot of our belongings are out on the driveway,” said Mr Mackie, who works for an oil and gas recruitment consultancy.

“That’s everything from fridges, cookers, dishwashers, washer-driers, mattresses, sofas, TV stands, beds and kitchen cabinets.

“Across the road from me, my neighbour is in exactly the same situation. Down the road, my next neighbour is the same.

“From where I’m standing I can see four houses. Carpets are piled up, there’s plasterboard everywhere.

“But people’s houses are still standing, it’s just the contents that have been taken out.”

Brazoria was not in the direct path of Harvey, but it did not escape the aftermath of the deluge.

Mr Mackie took his wife and son – Cindy and Ben –to a hotel in another nearby town, where they would be safe.

He then returned to his house and “hunkered down” before the high waters arrived. “When the water arrived it happened quickly,” said Mr Mackie, vice president for the Americas region at JAB Recruitment.

“I was in the house when it came in.”

“I was there for hours pumping water out, but when the river decides it’s coming into your house, it’s coming in. You can’t do anything about it.

“I fought it for half a day, then gave up and left for the hotel.”

When he returned in the morning, he was greeted by 18inch-deep, “nasty water”.

Mr Mackie said his family would probably stay in the hotel until the end of the month before seeking temporary accommodation.

He thinks it will take about three months to repair his “shell of a house”, which is insured against flood damage.

In the meantime, life goes on, Mr Mackie said.

“We have to get on and live our lives,” he said. “We can still enjoy ourselves – we’ve got things to do. We have to earn a living. My son has got to go to school.

“I don’t want to make light of things, but this has been more of an inconvenience.

“None of us were harmed or injured. Nothing was lost that can’t be replaced.

“It’s just material possessions.

“We can rebuild the house. It’s just going to take time.”