Dallas Convention Center Slated To Be Converted Into Mega Shelter

REUTERS/Ernest Scheyder

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Dallas officials are prepping to convert the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center into a mega shelter to take in large numbers of Hurricane Harvey evacuees coming from the Houston area.

Rocky Vaz, the director of the Dallas Office of Emergency Management, said they are expecting the shelter to accommodate thousands of hurricane victims.

“We have been advised by the state to be prepared for up to 5,000 evacuees, and we are committed to doing whatever it takes to accommodate our fellow Texans who may need assistance,” he said in a statement.

Organizations including the Red Cross, Dallas County, Parkland Hospital, the Salvation Army, Children’s Hospital and several volunteer agencies are currently working to have the shelter taking people in by Tuesday morning, NBC News reports.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins suggested people do what they can to accommodate evacuees in fear of there not being enough room at the shelters.

“We have approximately 740,000 people who live in this hurricane watch area of 30 counties, we have a maximum capacity, if we open all shelters — both private and public — in Texas of about 41,000 shelter spaces. So that’s right at 700,000 people who we don’t have shelter space for,” he told NBCDFW. “So what I’m asking is that if your cousin who is a pain in the neck to you asks to sleep on your couch for a few days, let the cousin sleep on the couch.”

GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott praised the Trump administration’s rapid response to the situation.

“We are getting absolutely everything we need,” he told CNN.

The president is expected to travel to Texas in the wake of the historic flooding.

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