The George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston was activated as an emergency shelter for those displaced by Tropical Storm Harvey on Sunday. According to the Houston Chronicle, rescue workers were shuttling families from the nearby Clayton Holmes housing complex northeast of downtown to the convention center.
The Red Cross is currently in charge of emergency operations at the convention center—which includes the setting up of carrying cots and passing out of blankets, food and other necessities—and the Houston Chronicle reported that at least 1,000 evacuees were expected to take shelter within the event facility’s walls. Other articles suggested that number will grow.
“This will be a fully functioning Red Cross shelter, a safe space for people to reside in,” Charlie Maltbie, an American Red Cross regional disaster officer, told the Houston Chronicle on Sunday. Maltbie was deployed from Indiana to manage the shelter.
Hurricane Harvey tore across the Gulf Coast region of Texas over the weekend, resulting in at least five deaths and more than a dozen injuries, according to the latest reporting from The New York Times. On Sunday, the system was downgraded to a tropical storm, but it continued to pound the region with rain, resulting in major flooding that affected several cities in Texas, including Harris County and Houston.
The National Weather Service forecast rainfall of 15 to 25 inches through Fri., Sept. 1, with as much as 50 inches in a few areas. On Mon., Aug. 28, Dallas was preparing the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center for use as a mega shelter to house more Hurricane Harvey evacuees seeking safety.
According the TV news affiliate NBC 5 in Dallas-Fort Worth, the city of Dallas said it plans to have the convention center ready to accommodate 5,000 people by Tuesday morning, with help from the Red Cross.
FEMA estimated that Tropical Storm Harvey will drive more than 30,000 to shelters.
USA Today reported that federal emergency officials are bracing to help with recovery efforts in Texas and other states hit by Harvey for years to come. The national news outlet also said flights at both Houston airports remained grounded Monday, and that flight cancellations have topped 5,000, and will extend into Tuesday.
In other related news, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott suspended the collection of hotel and motel taxes during Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey on Friday. The suspension will remain in place through Wed., Sept. 6.
Gas prices are expected to rise due to the storm, which hit a refinery-rich stretch of the Gulf Coast.
Here are some ways to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, as compiled by USA Today.