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Houston residents flee Harvey floodwaters for safety at convention centre

01 September 2017

Earlier Tuesday, the body of 61-year-old Houston Police Sgt. Steve Perez was found in his auto. She and her family chose not to sleep in the dormitory area. Water would rise 7 feet inside her house.

Numerous evacuees already in the convention center are grateful that they are in a dry place with some food, but shared their frustration with the level of accommodation and the preparations made.

Ten thousand people are estimated to be seeking refuge at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston, more than 5,000 higher than capacity.

All their tales ended the same - with gratitude for the safe roof of the George R. Brown Convention Center above their heads, and the dread of losing their possessions. Houston is really stepping up.

A spokeswoman for a Houston hotel said one of its employees disappeared while helping about 100 guests and workers evacuate the building. This gallery of photos shows the efforts in rescuing those impacted animals in southeastern Texas, finding safety in shelters and remaining close to their owners.

"It's insane to think that a couple weeks after what happened in Charlottesville, the people of Houston are saying, 'We don't care about your race or religion".

MILES O'BRIEN: Give us your impressions of what is going on there. Snow and his wife were picked up by a volunteer boat owner.

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"If they're grade school [students], they go to [John F. Kennedy Learning Center], if they're middle school [they go to] A.W. Spence [Middle School], and high school [students], they go to North Dallas High School", Rawlings said. We keep them in the yard. Even a "little baby" was on the floor next to them, she described.

"So I was going low and she rescued me again", he said, on the verge of tears. "That's why I'm not crying".

The release of the water means that more homes and streets will flood, and some homes will be inundated for up to a month, said Jeff Lindner of the Harris County Flood Control District.

"Historically all estimates of deaths are wrong in the beginning", said Craig Fugate, who was the Federal Emergency Management Agency director from 2009 until earlier this year. Congress is sure to take up a relief bill when it returns from August recess, and how and whether flood victims will be able to rebuild their lives will depend on the outcome of that bill. Four days later, 66,000 New Orleans residents had been evacuated from the city by bus or plane, according to the US Department of Transportation. A 2005 evacuation ahead of Hurricane Rita turned into a nightmare for many in Texas and Louisiana who found themselves trapped on clogged roadways and running out of fuel.

"We may have thousands upon thousands upon thousands of individuals coming here", he said.

A neighbor who didn't leave has been sending Santos videos showing the bayou slowly overtaking his apartment. Those who got to the convention center when it first opened seemed happy with the conditions.

Houston residents flee Harvey floodwaters for safety at convention centre