Austin, Texas Turned Away Weather Evacuees

After opening its doors Tuesday afternoon, an Austin shelter for hurricane Laura evacuees reached capacity, prompting the shelter to close. 

The shelter, located at the Circuit of the Americas motor racing track, is an intake center. After evacuees are bussed in, they get a hotel voucher to one of 15 Austin area hotels. The problem? They ran out of vouchers, and are now being told to seek a hotel further inland. 

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has made shelters and hotels prime real estate with many fewer people allowed in each space due to distancing restrictions. 

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.  

Governor Greg Abbott said mandatory evacuations have been issued in a slew of Texas counties and that shelters are open across the state. 

Hurricane Laura is expected to make landfall late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning as a Category 4 storm.