Red Cross and FEMA workers seem about ready to be finished with shelter operations at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Earlier this afternoon, officers with the Houston Police Department arrested one man at the site and were on the verge of putting another man – possibly drunk – in handcuffs after he tried to force his way through the doors to retrieve his backpack.
Lucky for the workers, all the convention center residents are set to be bused out tomorrow for a more permanent shelter, according to Jedediah Greenfield, a representative from the mayor’s office. Not so lucky are the evacuees from Pasadena and Clear Lake that were bused to the convention center this afternoon and were told they could not stay.
The group had been at a shelter in Corsicana since last Thursday but was told last night they had to leave, according to Pam Cole, an evacuee from Pasadena. Three Pasadena ISD school buses showed up in Corsicana at 7 o’clock this morning and drove the residents back to Pasadena, but they couldn’t find a place to stay. One of the bus drivers said he spoke with someone in Houston, who told him to bring the evacuees to the convention center.
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The group had been without food and water since getting on the school bus this morning, Cole said, and many of the evacuees pleaded with workers at the convention center to let them inside to use the bathroom.
“We have animals and children here, and now they’re trying to send us away again,” said Cole, whose Pasadena home is still without electricity, and she heard that her neighborhood had almost 80 break-ins since Saturday.
When Hair Balls left the scene, workers with the Red Cross and City of Houston were trying to find out why the group had been sent to Houston, as well as find a place to send them. One woman heard the group was going to San Antonio, but she said she definitely did not want to go there.
-- Paul Knight