After Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas Coast and spurred days of record rainfall resulting in deadly flooding conditions, the doors of Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center opened and now houses more than 9,000 evacuees.
The NRG Center took in 900 people on Tuesday night and expected another 1,500 on Wednesday, a spokesperson for Barker-Ripley, the Houston nonprofit running the shelter, told BuzzFeed News. "We didn't expect this at all". "This isn't going to happen fast". A psychologist stopped by to give advice about dealing with the trauma they'd endured.
The director of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency on Monday called on the people of Texas and Louisiana to "be involved" as the states struggle with the devastating impact of Tropical Storm Harvey.
MILES O'BRIEN: Have you seen many volunteers who have come to help out? She was at the convention center. The Red Cross says that they're working to get people in touch with mental health services, if they need those, and connect with prescriptions because, in many cases, people just fled with the clothes on their back and don't have access to the medications that they need to be taking.
At the center, though, they've found a temporary escape from the horrors that Harvey brought. The shelter was described as a "city within a city" - child care, a post office, even a hair salon. By Tuesday, almost everyone had a cot. By 4 am, it was waist high, so she and her husband William, like other Houston area residents that night, climbed into the attic.
Abbott said the Toyota Center - located just one block from the George R. Brown Convention Center - and the NRG Center, also known as the Astrodome, were given the go-ahead to take in evacuees.
Volunteers organized mountains of donated clothing and handed them out in neat piles. There will also be charging stations and possibly loaner phones for people who have lost their phones, he said.
"Transportation, travel and housing are expected to see significant challenges for an extended period of time", the Red Cross said.
Her family plans to wait until Tuesday evening to check in on recorded water levels so they can figure out when they can return to Houston. So, they have expanded into other parts of the Convention Center.
"So I was going low and she rescued me again", he said, on the verge of tears.
All their tales ended the same - with gratitude for the safe roof of the George R. Brown Convention Center above their heads, and the dread of losing their possessions.
"We have the shelter capacity for the individuals in need, that need has reached its peak, and we are concentrating on serving their need.so that they're able to exit out of the shelters into a more transitional or permanent situation so they can continue with their lives", Eichenbaum said.
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Officials with the Texas Department of Public safety said a state trooper out checking the road conditions came across Ola Mae Crooks' vehicle. "We're out of danger".