Dallas considers scaling down shelter efforts

Dallas Prepares Convention Center as Mega Shelter for Harvey Flooding Victims

Over the last two days, city of Dallas employees and volunteers have converted the first floor of the convention center's air-conditioned parking garage into a 5,000 capacity shelter capable of housing Hurricane Harvey evacuees for "as long as it takes", Rawlings said. In all, more than 17,000 people have sought refuge in Texas shelters and that number seemed certain to increase, the American Red Cross said.

Four Walmart stores in the Dallas area will fulfill orders placed through the pop-up pharmacy and deliver the items to the convention center. On Monday, workers and volunteers assembled green cots and placed blankets on Level 1 of the center.

Darian Ward, a spokeswoman for Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, said the convention center adjacent to the city's National Football League stadium and the Astrodome will open at 10 p.m. Tuesday. "We're not going back until then".

On Tuesday, a gathering space built for 5,000 people was packed with almost 10,000, languishing on rows of green cots, hushing unruly children, peering dully at large video screens for news of the storm -waiting for word of when, if ever, the endless rain would stop. Roads in the area are "in pretty good shape", he said. But to relieve pressure on the facility as more evacuees come in, another shelter is opening nearby on Tuesday afternoon, he said.

"If people need to get out, now is definitely the time", said Alan Spears, deputy emergency management coordinator of Fort Bend County, on KTRK Monday morning, asking residents to heed calls for evacuation. Some came by City of Houston dump trucks, some by military vehicles that could travel through very high water.

The Dallas area is prepared to accommodate about 6,000 evacuees, Mayor Rawlings said.

The Toyota Center will be used as an additional shelter to help ease the number of people at the convention center, Turner said.

Despite the journey, Hanna kept a smile on her face. But at the end of the day, treat us better, you know? We're not going back until the people on the news tell us it's safe to go back.

"We are trying to help any way we can", Dallas Council member Lee Kleinman said.

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Red Cross Spokesperson Anthony Tornetta told CNN the agency readied supplies ahead of Harvey's arrival and is continuing to bring in more.

Dallas city leaders said they are discussing how to move forward depending on how things play out.

United Way's first priority will be safety, shelter and basic needs, like food.

For many, the enormity of the storm and its impact are just starting to settle in.

They hunkered down in Gonzales, Texas, about an hour and a half north of Port Aransas, in a La Quinta Inn that she says felt like a "three-story Noah's Ark".

Loretta Jones had seen her neighborhood in southeast Houston engulfed, and fled her family's home of 40 years with her two young sons. I recall being post-Katrina at the Convention Center in New Orleans and there were - a lot of systems broke down, including the plumbing, et cetera.

"I'm just trying get to high ground and dry off", Edgar added.

Most of those arriving, Mudd said, show up with "a combination of fear and anguish".

Despite Dallas' preparations, Rawlings said he hopes the city won't reach its capacity for evacuees.



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