The intake facility, located at the Circuit of the Americas, was ready to take in up to 3,000 evacuees. However, officials at COTA told KVUE they ran out of hotel vouchers and had to start turning away evacuees.
One of the evacuees who was turned away identified himself to KVUE as David. He lives outside of Beaumont and has a disability that has resulted in him having more than 40 surgeries in his life. He started driving from outside Beaumont to Austin at 2 a.m. even though he had surgery three weeks ago.
"This was not an easy trip for me," David said. "I don't have any family to help take care of me so I'm stuck on my own."
David told KVUE he was very frustrated that no alert was sent out notifying evacuees the Austin intake facility was no longer accepting people.
"It's just ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous," he said. "I'm just angry at the state and at the governor who I had a lot of respect for until today. They were supposed to have something for us. Something."
David also explained he doesn’t have the money to just keep driving because of his medical expenses. Now he’s headed to Dallas since it’s his only option.
Evacuees are encouraged to call 211 for the latest sheltering updates and are being directed to other shelter locations across Texas such as San Antonio, Dallas and Ennis. Gov. Greg Abbott said mandatory evacuations have been issued in a slew of Texas counties and that shelters are open across the state. You can find that information here.
Hurricane Laura is expected to make landfall late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. As of Wednesday afternoon, it is now a Category 4 storm. Download the KVUE app to get the latest weather updates straight to your phone: kvue.com/app.
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