Beaumont and other Gulf Coast residents flooded out of their homes and deprived of basic needs by Hurricane Harvey arrived in Fort Worth late Thursday.
City officials reported that 179 evacuees arrived at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center between 5 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Thursday. The Center was activated Monday by city officials . Five people were taken to a local hospital for injuries ranging from fractures received during the initial rescue to medical conditions, according to Kevin Neal, a city of Fort Worth spokesman.
One of the patients was treated and returned to the center. More evacuees could arrive at the center Friday, Neal said.
The evacuees from Beaumont left about 4:15 p.m. and arrived at Dallas Love Field an hour later. They were then taken to Wilkerson-Greines by bus.
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Fort Worth is equipped to handle more than 1,000 new guests. Wilkerson-Greines and Worth Heights Community Center are open.
Dallas opened its “mega-shelter” at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center on Tuesday, and it will be the busiest of the shelters once a steady stream of evacuees begins to arrive.
Fort Worth has 104 police officers and 49 firefighters helping Harvey victims in the areas where the storm has caused major havoc.
Harvey was downgraded Wednesday night to a tropical depression. In Beaumont and other southeast Texas communities it caused a repeat of the flooding endured by Houston, its suburbs and nearby beach towns when it made first landfall last week as a Category 4 hurricane before meandering back to the Gulf of Mexico. It has dumped up to 50 inches of rain in spots, leaving more than 30 dead.
Police in Beaumont and Port Arthur were recruiting anyone with boats to help check neighborhoods for potential rescues, with one meeting point for available vessels at a Walmart. Authorities said that instead of calling 911, many people were trying to seek help via social media, adding to the chaos.
This story contains information from the Associated Press and Star-Telegram archives.