Houston convention center shelter already thousands over capacity

Officials expect thousands to be placed in temporary shelters.

ByABC News
August 29, 2017, 1:01 AM

— -- Droves of people stranded and displaced by deadly Hurricane Harvey are being transported to nearby evacuation centers and shelters around the Houston area.

As masses arrived on the back of city dump trucks -- by boat, by bus and some by foot to downtown Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center -- they were met with cots, blankets, towels, food and medical attention.

The American Red Cross has set up stations inside the convention center to serve as an acting hospital, hotel and food court for those seeking refuge. The center had about 8,800 people inside as of early Tuesday morning, topping the original capacity of 5,000.

ABC Houston station KTRK-TV has a full list of all designated multiservice centers in the surrounding areas.

City officials announced that in the past 24 hours there have been 4,000 water-related incidents and 290 water rescues.

Creating a sense of stability for survivors is the top priority for now, emergency administrator Brock Long of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said.

"Once we move them we’re able to extract them from different areas; we've got to get them into shelters,” Long said in a news conference this morning. “This shelter rescue is going to be a very heavy lift. We're anticipating 30,000 people placed in shelters temporarily to basically stabilize the situation and provide for their care.”

Texas asked for a presidential disaster declaration, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration director Louis Uccellini, which President Trump enacted to help mobilize all resources to help when the state's resources are depleted.

"Underneath the president's disaster declaration, we have turned on what we call individual assistant programs,” Uccellini said. “We are expecting, based on this event, over 450,000 potential registers of disaster victims. That is a huge number but we are ready to go, process. We've already processed nearly 15,000 calls over the last 24 hours.”

ABC News Karma Allen contributed to this report.

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