Houston to open more mega-shelters for flood victims

by

August 30, 2017
Highways around downtown Houston are empty as floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey overflow from the bayous around the city Tuesday in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON, Texas (AP):

Houston officials will open two or three more mega-shelters to accommodate people who continue to arrive at the overflowing George R. Brown Convention Center seeking refuge from Harvey's record-breaking flooding, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Tuesday.

The centre already held more than 9,000 people, almost twice the number officials originally planned to house there, Turner said.

"We are not turning anyone away. But it does mean we need to expand our capabilities and our capacity," Turner said. "Relief is coming."

More than 17,000 people have sought refuge in Texas shelters and that number seemed certain to increase, the American Red Cross said.

City officials have made a formal request with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for more supplies, including cots and food, for an additional 10,000 people, which he hopes will arrive no later than Wednesday, the mayor said.

Also on Tuesday, the Houston Chronicle reported that a city police officer drowned in his patrol car as he was driving to work. The newspaper, citing three unidentified department officials, said the 30-year officer was heading to work Sunday when he became trapped in his car in high water on Interstate 45 in north Harris County.