Norwich storm chaser raising money to support his family in Texas after their home is ruined by Hurricane Harvey flooding
- Credit: Archant
A Norwich storm chaser is raising money to support his family in Texas after their homes were ruined by flooding from Hurricane Harvey.
Chris Bell said his brother and parents, who live in the city of Vidor, had to be rescued by the National Guard as flood water poured into their properties.
The 39-year-old, who is the forecasting director at Weatherquest, based at the University of East Anglia, said water levels reached 5ft in some areas.
It destroyed the ground floor of his mum and dad's home, as well as his brother's house in the same neighbourhood.
They have since been forced to live with another family in a different city as they wait for their homes to be made safe again.
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Mr Bell, who first moved from Texas to the UK in 1999 and has been a storm chaser since his teenage years, said the damage would exceed the amount of compensation paid out by insurance companies.
And he has now launched a crowd funding campaign to try and support his family in the immediate aftermath of the flood, which happened on August 31.
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He said: 'Looking at it from afar, I told my mum in the days leading up to it that they would be fine, and now I feel a bit of regret for that.
'But no one saw it coming to that extent.
'In some places they reported 50 inches of rain in just five days. In comparison, our average rain fall for the year is around 25 to 30 inches.
'I would say my parents are shell shocked by it all. It is one of those things that you don't think will ever happen to you.'
Hurricane Harvey has reportedly killed more than 80 people and destroyed thousands of homes since hitting Texas last month.
The Washington Post said more than 30,000 people were sleeping in shelters at the height of the flooding, with 21,000 households now staying in hotels.
The hurricane is believed to be the wettest tropical hurricane on record.
Mr Bell said his parents and his brother, who has two teenage children, also had their five cars destroyed by the rising water.
He said he felt it would be more useful to try and raise money to help them, rather than travel over from Norwich.
To donate to his crowd funding page, visit www.gofundme.com/chrisbellfloodrecovery