Dallas considers scaling down shelter efforts

- There are still only a couple hundred Hurricane Harvey evacuees staying at shelters in Dallas.

City leaders said they are still prepared to handle an influx of people at the the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in downtown Dallas. The call could still come in. But they also recognize they may have to start scaling down efforts.

For now the city is kind of stuck in limbo.

Currently four shelters open in Dallas. Walnut Hill has 263 people registered. Tommy Allen has 141 and Samuel Grand has 181.

There are 558 people registered at the convention center but only 108 of them stayed overnight. The others are using free services like hot meals and child car during the day only.

Dallas city leaders said they are discussing how to move forward depending on how things play out.

“What we’re going to start looking at it towards the end of the day. If we don’t get the influx of people, how do we scale down and how do we have the surge capacity if people would come? So we are taking all of that into consideration. We are not standing down anything,” said Rocky Vaz, with the Dallas Office of Emergency Management.

Vaz said another thing being discussed is long-term plans for those who can’t return right away. He said the city is preparing to house people for weeks but is also talking to FEMA about the transition process and long-term housing.

The city is also considering consolidating the shelters and only keeping the mega shelter open. So far no decision has been made.

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