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'I am just angry': Hurricane Laura evacuee frustrated after being turned away from Austin facility

He told KVUE it took him five hours to get to the Austin intake facility where he was told to go to Dallas.

AUSTIN, Texas — After opening its doors Tuesday afternoon, the Austin intake facility for Hurricane Laura evacuees reached capacity, prompting the facility to close.

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.


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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. 

RELATED: Laura expected to strengthen to a Category 4 hurricane today

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.

WATCH: Hurricane Laura set to strengthen into Category 4


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