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Hundreds Pour Into Downtown Houston’s Massive Evacuation Center

A shelter set up in Houston’s massive convention complex is now over capacity. They were ready for about 5,000 people but they got around 9,000. Officials say they won’t turn anyone away.

As hundreds of people swarm the George R. Brown Convention Center, volunteer Veronica Caycedo is manning the missing persons desk. She says they’re trying to keep families from getting separated and it’s challenging work.

“People are coming in with nothing and they’re trying to figure out what do to,” says Caycedo. “And honestly it’s really hard for the volunteers also because we’re coming in and we’re trying to get direction on what to do and what to tell other people.”

Among the people seeking help is Neisha Cooper. She was rescued Monday from knee-deep water in northeast Houston.

“I was very scared,” says Cooper. “Just worrying about the kids, to get out safe and all that.”

Cooper says they had to wait until a truck came by.

“Someone evacuated us, took us to Kashmere Gardens Training Center,” explains Cooper. “And then we got on a Metro bus to come here.”

Because of the overflow crowds at the George R. Brown, officials are now looking for space where they can set up other big shelters.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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