Dallas Mega Shelter Closes, Remaining Evacuees Move to Rec Center

After hosting as many as 3,500 Hurricane Harvey evacuees, Dallas is closing the mega shelter at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Wednesday.

Only about 220 people remained at the shelter, and they will be moved to a smaller shelter the city is opening at the Tommie M. Allen Recreation Center in Oak Cliff.

The vast majority of the evacuees have since returned to their homes along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Some have decided to stay in Dallas, and Mayor Mike Rawlings said 100 evacuees will now call Dallas home.

"It's gone, it's gone," said evacuee Frances Green, who lost everything.

Green said she has taken a leap of faith in calling Dallas her new home.

"We lived in Port Arthur, and they're living in tents right now behind the library. I didn't want to go from a shelter to a tent," Green said.

She said North Texas has already made her feel at home.

"When we got off the plane, Dallas opened their arms to us," she said.

It's a much appreciated welcome that Houston evacuee Zoila Montalban said she also received.

"Maybe they don't have the economic support to help you, but just saying something like everything is going to be OK, that matters a lot for us," she said.

Both women plan to stay in Dallas.

It is a commitment Rawlings says he has made to Houston and to its evacuees that won't be returning.

"We're still helping Houston," Rawlings said. "We've been helping for the last 26 days. We've done a good job this far, and we plan to not quit," he said.

It's this determination that carries these evacuees from Hurricane Harvey to the helping hands of Dallas.

"I probably have my moments of breaking down, but each time it's the Lord beside me, it has to be," Green said.

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