What Is Texas Doing With The 6,000 Inmates Displaced By Harvey?

REUTERS/Richard Carson

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Anders Hagstrom Justice Reporter

Texas evacuated 6,000 inmates from five prisons in the wake of Hurricane Harvey after the facilities faced heavy flooding and probable damage, officials told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) evacuated the 6,000 inmates on Saturday and Monday night from facilities in Rosharon and Richmond. Rosharaon, about 40 miles south of Houston, is under heavy flooding from the nearby Brazos River, which has continued to rise at an alarming rate since Hurricane Harvey tore through the Houston area Friday night. Officials have no idea how long inmates will need to be held in alternative facilities, and flooding has prevented them from assessing the damage to at least three of the original facilities, the TDCJ told TheDCNF

The TDCJ organized buses to ferry facility inmates, guards, and staff out of the flooded buildings in a heavily-guarded operations Saturday and Monday night. The prison facilities had been fortified against flooding with sandbags, but with parts of the surrounding area covered in several feet of water, the buildings will almost certainly be damaged.

Residents affected by the storm are evacuating themselves as well. William “Brock” Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told reporters that the agency expects 30,000 people to be housed in shelters as emergency crews continue piecing together the extent of the damage in the Houston area.

Despite the damage, there have still been only five reported deaths directly related to Harvey. Rosharon residents and local media tweeted out pictures and footage of the extensive flooding throughout the weekend.

For security reasons, the department declined to say which East Texas units will be accommodating the displaced inmates.

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