Dallas Opens First Shelter for Harvey Evacuees

Displaced Texans in need of shelter should report to the Tommie Allen Recreation Center: Red Cross

Texans evacuating from the Gulf Coast are finding safety in North Texas.

The Dallas Office of Emergency Management opened at shelter Friday at the Walnut Hill Recreation Center to accommodate evacuees from Hurricane Harvey.

The rec center can accommodate up to 500 people, and by 4 a.m. Saturday, there were already more than 200 people checked in.

A second shelter was set to open Saturday at the Tommie Allen Recreation Center, located at 7071 Bonnie View Road in Dallas. Displaced residents who have not already checked in to another shelter should report to the Tommie Allen location, according to a Red Cross spokesperson.

Texas Department of Transportation signs along the highway in Ellis County instructed evacuees to call 2-1-1 to find out which Dallas shelters that are open.

Paula Chambers and Lara Raney arrived in North Dallas Friday morning from Houston. They were there during Hurricane Ike, and did not want to go through anything like that again.

"Where we live our whole street floods. You know there is nothing you can do. It is sad. It really is. People lose their lives, so I hope people listen and evacuate," Chambers said.

They decided to leave early this morning when the storm gained strength.

"I went to the store the night before we left, and people were fighting in the store over water. There was no water. All the shelves were empty. The gas lines were crazy, so I don't want to do that again," she added.

Elaine and Raymond Brundrett live in Corpus Christi, right near the water. They decided Thursday to head to North Texas to stay with their niece. At one point in their drive, they were going just 6 miles per hour.

"I lived through Hurricane Celia in 1970. We lost our roof. We kept adding quilts, on top of quilts, on top of quilts, and I kept hearing this roaring of wind — 160 miles an hour — and I didn't want to do it. And with this coming in at night, it would have been worse because that came in during the day," said Elaine Brundrett, who added, "like everybody says, you can replace things but you can't replace yourselves."

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