City officials provided updates on rescue operations in the Houston area as a result of Tropical Storm Harvey during a press conference on Tuesday morning.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo says there has been more than 3,500 rescues.
Acevedo emphasized that the department is not just in search and rescue mode, but also in law enforcement mode. Police arrested more alleged looters and armed robbers overnight. He says the City will not tolerate people victimizing the community and he will push hard with the district attorney to prosecute at the fullest extent.
The Houston Fire Department is trying to better manage the resources they have on scene. According to HFD Chief Samuel Peña, he is bringing fresh people who aren't on duty and the department remains in the "rescue phase" at this point.
As of midnight, HFD has responded to more than 1,000 rescues. There are a total of eight area commands.
He stressed that they are trying hard to service every 911 call. They have received over 5,500 calls for service which are mostly water-related. Hey says it is important not be on the road unless you have to be. Additionally, he says if you can't get in touch with 911 then to try calling 311. It is important that you stay on the line so that dispatchers don't have to call you back.
Mayor Sylvester Turner said the focus of Tuesday's rescue operations would be the Kingwood area, specific areas include: Enclave, Barrington, Royal Shores and Forest Gardens.
As of Tuesday morning, the mayor says the George R. Brown Convention Center had expanded its capacity of 9,000. Officials have identified a couple of other mega shelter locations which they plan to announce once they are set up. Additionally, the City has asked FEMA to supply food and cots for an additional 10,00 people. There is a significant need for volunteers.
Turner continues to stand by the decision not to evacuate the city because Houston was not in the direct path of hurricane saying, "you cannot evacuate 6.5 million people in two days."
City of Houston employees won't return to work until Thursday, he says.
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