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August 29, 2017

Houston’s Convention Center Shelters Harvey Victims

Texas National Guardsmen assist residents affected by flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey onto a military vehicle in Houston. // Army National Guard photo by Lt. Zachary West
Texas National Guardsmen assist residents affected by flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey onto a military vehicle in Houston. // Army National Guard photo by Lt. Zachary West

Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center is acting as an emergency shelter for those displaced by the catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. 

According to the latest report from ABC News, there are approximately 9,000 people in the convention center, far in excess of the 5,000 that were prepared for. At the same time, the Red Cross has said that it won’t turn anyone away. 

According to the convention center’s website, the center is open to those who can make it to the area safely. The convention center is also welcoming pets, who will be placed with their owners in a designated area. The facility has also opened parking in the Tundra, Avenida South and Avenida North garages free of charge. 

The Convention Center also notes that the Red Cross has launched a massive relief effort in response to the storm and is collecting financial donations at redcross.org. Those interested in donating can also call 1-800-RED CROSS or text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. 

Flight Update

The storm has also shut down operations at Houston’s two airports, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Hobby Airport. A number of airlines have also issued cancellation and change waivers. 

United Airlines customers can reschedule their flights for travel through September 20 with a one-time date or time change, and the airline will waive the change fees and any difference in fare for flights booked in the same cabin between the same city pair.

American Airlines is also waiving change fees for customers booked through affected airports who bought their ticket by August 28 and are scheduled to travel through September 7. Rebooked travel must take place through September 20 between the same city pair in the same cabin (or pay the difference).

Delta is offering a travel waiver for travel through September 7. The new ticket must be reissued on or before September 20, with rebooked travel to begin no later than that date.

Southwest Airlines is offering a travel waiver for affected customers booked through September 5. Rebooked travel must be in the original class or service or travel standby within 14 days of the original date of travel between the same city pair.

Finally, JetBlue has issued a travel waiver for customers flying through August 31 if they booked before August 23. Travelers can rebook through September 5.

Hotel Update

Marriott International reports that most of its hotels in the area remain open, but that it is assessing the extent of impact on each hotel. Efforts are underway to fully restore operations to those properties that were more significantly affected by the storm. Hotels in the impacted area are waiving cancellation fees. Details vary by hotel; customers should call 800-228-9290 for further information.

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