August 28, 2017—The number of people heading to Austin impacted by Hurricane Harvey could rise drastically. State officials asked the city if it can house 7,000 evacuees from the Gulf Coast.Mayor Steve Adler says officials are trying to figure out capacity and logistics and are planning to turn the Austin Convention Center into a mega shelter. After Hurricane Katrina, the city hosted 4,000 evacuees at the convention center. The city plans to move people out of existing shelters to the mega shelter within the next two days.
In an emergency city council meeting on Tuesday morning, Adler said, “We pretty much dodged the bullet here in Austin, but we will do everything we can to help others.”
There are currently 563 evacuees in Austin spread across four shelters. A little under 200 are staying at the Delco Center, others are at LBJ High School, the Toney Burger Activity Center and the University of Texas J.J. Pickle Research Campus in north Austin was also set up as a shelter to serve people with special medical needs.
KXAN has also learned Reagan High School is set up as a shelter, and ready to receive about 200 people. Other Austin ISD high school have been put on standby.
During the emergency meeting, the city says it is also looking at additional locations for another 4,000 people.