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DFW preps for Hurricane Harvey Evacuees

DALLAS -- Hurricane Harvey has his eye on the Texas coast. With landfall expected overnight, folks from that part of the Lone Star State have started to head north away from the storm.

“We are running from the power outages and flooding,” Chelsea Ruiz from Texas City said. “We just wanted to get out! We didn’t want our kids and animals without AC, electricity, and all the good stuff.”

While some people are checking into hotels along I-45, others are looking for shelters. The Dallas Emergency Operations Center has enlisted the help of local rec centers to house those displaced by Harvey.

“We are looking at the largest rec centers like the Walnut Hill Rec Center. We know we have the capacity to hold up to 500 people,” Director Rocky Vaz said.

Americo Espinosa from Freeport was one of the first to show up to the Walnut Hill Recreation Center looking for shelter.

“I just decided this morning, I kept looking on the news and I had just seen there was going to be a lot of flooding so I just decided to come to Dallas,” said Espinosa.

The American Red Cross was also on hand to lend assistance.

“We are unloading cots and supplies and items that people will need since they’re being displaced at this moment,” Lisa Morgan told Newsfix.

Zachary Thompson with Dallas Health and Human Services was on the scene to inspect the rec center to ensure it was ready for potentially hundreds fleeing the storm.

“We’re glad to be fortunate enough to house people as they have to relocate,” Thompson said. “Unfortunately they’ll have to leave their homes but one good thing is they are able to come here and have a safe place to lay their heads.”