Dallas Prepares for Evacuees From Hurricane Harvey

Shelters are prepared for evacuees heading north; rescue people head south to Harvey

Dallas is preparing shelters for storm evacuees coming north as public safety crews head south to meet Hurricane Harvey.

A search-and-rescue team known as Texas Task Force Two left Thursday evening from Hensley Field, the former Dallas Naval Air Station.

The 70-member team of people is drawn from many North Texas fire departments, but the equipment comes from Dallas Fire-Rescue.

"Our task force team has a number of capabilities up to and including high-angle rescue, structure collapse, trench collapse, hazardous materials and swift water," said Jason Evans, spokesman for Dallas Fire-Rescue.

All of those skills could be necessary after landfall from a Category 4 hurricane.

The team will stage at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio and wait for further instructions.

"They try to respond with military assets, and that's because the military vehicles have larger wheels," Evans said.

Big wheels can help in the high water expected from Harvey.

Texas Task Force One was already staged in College Station Thursday, including other people from Dallas Fire-Rescue.

The city of Dallas is also prepared to open shelters if necessary to house evacuees from the Texas coast.

Three recreation centers can handle up to 1,100 people. Walnut Hill Recreation Center at 10011 Midway Road, Tommie Allen Recreation Center at 7071 Bonnie View Road and Samuel Grand Recreation Center at 6200 E. Grand Avenue in Dallas could be open and set up quickly.

Dallas Emergency Operations Director Rocky Vaz said the American Red Cross and other agencies are ready to staff the shelters with cots, food and other supplies.

As a last resort, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center could also be opened as a shelter for up to 5,000 people, but a truck show opens there Friday and officials hope to avoid housing evacuees there.

Even with so many public safety people heading south, the Dallas Emergency Operations director said there are enough trained people still in Dallas and surrounding cities in the event Harvey heads north.

"We have enough resources," Vaz said. "We have a regional search-and-rescue team with the resources that are needed in the city of Dallas, so we are not concerned about expending all the resources."

Harvey is expected to make landfall around Corpus Christi Saturday.

Mandatory evacuations have been issued for the following cities and counties according to the Texas Department of Transportation:

  • Calhoun County
  • A&M Corpus Christi
  • Aransas County
  • San Patricio County
  • Refugio County
  • City of Aransas Pass
  • City of Port Aransas
  • City of Rockport
  • City of Ingleside
  • City of Refugio
  • Brazoria County
  • Matagorda County
  • City of Palacios
  • City of Victoria
  • Victoria County
  • Jackson County

Voluntary evacuations have been issued for the following cities and counties according to the Texas Department of Transportation: 

  • City of El Lago
  • City of Galveston
  • Galveston County
  • City of S. Padre Island
  • City of Port Arthur
  • City of Corpus Christi
  • City of Ricardo
  • City of Rivera
  • City of Kingsville
  • City of W. Columbia
  • City of Richwood
  • City of Beeville
  • Bee County
  • Bay City
  • Mustang Island
  • Padre Island
  • City of San Patricio
  • City of Seabrook
  • Jamaica Beach
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