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Houston Residents Flee Harvey Floodwaters for Safety at Convention Center

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U.S. Parks Police New York Field Office Chevrolet Tahoe

U.S. Parks Police New York Field Office Chevrolet Tahoe. Photo: Christopher Ebdon.

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Shivering cold and soaking wet, Maria Davila collapsed on the floor of a downtown Houston shelter beside her two grandchildren on Sunday, exhausted after fighting through swirling floodwaters as Tropical Storm Harvey pounded the city.

Davila, one of a 1,000-strong crowd in a makeshift shelter in the George R. Brown Convention Center, arrived in a police car with her husband, her daughter and the children. Her family was one of hundreds forced from their homes by rising water that inundated whole neighborhoods after two days of relentless rain, Reuters reported.

“Water started flooding our house and by last night we were unable to leave,” Davila, 56, said as shelter workers swathed the toddlers in wool blankets. “We left our cars and belongings there and started swimming to be rescued.”

The sprawling convention center in central Houston is among almost three dozen Red Cross shelters in Texas prepared to house up to 28,000 people driven from their homes by the state’s most powerful hurricane in more than 50 years.

By Sunday evening, the convention center was filled with the clatter of chairs and cots being unfolded, the cries of babies and toddlers and instructions in English, Spanish and Vietnamese relayed by translators.

Storm refugees, many still in wet clothes, sprawled on chairs or formed long queues as shelter employees handed out diapers, food, water, clothes, books, games and other essentials.

Red Cross officials said the facility was likely to reach its capacity of 5,000 people soon.

Full story:

Tasnim News Agency

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