August 29, 2017 / 4:24 PM / a year ago

Houston seeking federal help to handle rapidly expanding storm evacuations

HOUSTON (Reuters) - With scores of area residents fleeing flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey, Houston officials are preparing to open additional large shelters, Mayor Sylvester Turner said on Tuesday.

Residents wade through flood waters from Tropical Storm Harvey while evacuating their neighborhood in east Houston, Texas, U.S. August 28, 2017. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Federal Emergency Management Agency has been asked to provide “as soon as possible” supplies, cots and food to help another 10,000 people from the city and surrounding towns, he said.

The city’s existing main shelter in a downtown convention center was initially set up to handle 5,000 people and earlier today held 9,000, he said. More than 2,000 people arrived at the city’s convention center after 9 p.m. Monday.

He said officials would disclose the locations of additional help centers later today.

One shelter is likely to be placed in the west of the city, where two reservoirs are cresting and where officials have urged residents to evacuate. The city will not turn anyone way from existing shelters, he said.

Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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