9,000+ evacuees take refuge at George R. Brown convention center
Thousands of Texans have taken refuge at George R. Brown convention center in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The The center continues to accept evacuees.
The shelter was originally given a capacity of 5,000 but is currently holding 9.000 people, with more streaming in. Despite the original capacity, The Red Cross has said that no one will be turned away because of the nature of the disaster. The center is not at capacity, but not everyone can be guaranteed a bed or cot. More supplies are on the way, but they cannot get into Houston due to flooded roads.
Mayor Sylvester Turner said Tuesday morning that there would be more mega-shelters announced as soon as they are set up. He said some people at GRB would be moved to those.
Evacuees arrived by city buses and dump trucks. Some even waded through the flood waters to arrive. Many victims waited in the missing persons area after being separated from their family on their way to the shelter.
People were registered before being given meals, blankets, towels and clothing. The evacuation shelter has said they are not turning away anyone, but cannot guarantee a bed or cot. In a press conference, Houston Director of housing Tom McCasland said that the center would soon be a fully functioning shelter. Showers are currently being set up, doctors are on site and there is a fully functioning pharmaceutical area and emergency room.
Some people taking shelter at the GRB have expressed concerns regarding the conditions. One mother told KHOU 11's Sherry Williams that she is concerned for the safety of her daughter claiming, "we aren't comfortable." She claims there are people standing outside the convention center stealing and making threats.
Volunteers and donations are still needed, however people interested in volunteering should sign up with The Red Cross first. The center still needs cots, blankets and towels, but McCasland discouraged people from donating large amounts of clothing, unless they were in larger sizes.
People are encouraged to bring donations directly to the center if conditions are safe.
The convention center was also used in 2005 to house evacuees leaving New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina,
Edit: A previous version of this article stated the center was at capacity. While the convention center originally planned for 5,000 evacuees, no one is being turned away.