- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Houston’s police chief on Tuesday said more than 3,500 people have been rescued in the wake of torrential rains and flooding from Hurricane Harvey, and that officials are likely at least days away from moving to actual recovery portions of the response.

“We will not be reducing our posture,” Police Chief Art Acevedo said at a news conference.

He said officers have been sleeping at stations and will continue to do so in the response phase.

“We are still in the response phase and we probably will not be moving towards recovery for a matter of a couple more days,” he said.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said that the George R. Brown Convention Center, which is being used as a makeshift shelter, is pushing twice its typical capacity of 5,000, but that people aren’t going to be turned away and that additional rescue centers would be announced soon.

“We are not going to turn anybody away from shelters,” Mr. Turner said. “We are going to provide additional options.”

“The doors of the George R. Brown will not close, OK?” he said. “But we will provide additional mega-shelters today within a matter of hours for other people to go to.”

Mr. Turner also said they’ve asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for additional supplies such as cots and food for another 10,000 individuals.

Mr. Acevedo urged the public not to give up on coming rescuers, saying said any delays or issues are coming amid an unprecedented event.

“This is a catastrophic event [that] I don’t think we’ve seen, when the Weather Channel starts creating a new color for rainfall,” he said.

“And so for all the Monday-morning quarterbacking out there, you can’t talk about hindsight because there is no hindsight in terms of an event that’s never occurred,” he said.

Mr. Acevedo also said there were also some overnight arrests involving armed robbers and looters, and said officials would push for the fullest prosecutions and toughest sentences possible for such lawbreakers.

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