HOUSTON (AP) — The George R. Brown Convention Center is rapidly approaching double its original estimated capacity for evacuees from Harvey.
A Red Cross spokesman said Tuesday morning that a total of around 9,000 people have arrived at the convention center since the storm struck over the weekend. Groups of people escaping flooding arrived through the night and continue to enter.
The Red Cross had 5,000 cots. Volunteers pulled cots closer together, but many people had to sleep on chairs or the floor. Across the gray convention hall floor, people laid out towels, blankets and strips of cardboard.
The city hasn't said Tuesday whether it will open another shelter the size of George R. Brown.
The National Weather Service is forecasting a relatively small amount of rain Tuesday in the Houston area, only 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 centimeters) — perhaps a little less in Houston proper.
The National Hurricane Center, though is still saying "relentless torrential rains" will continue over southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. The center forecasts another 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimeters) of rain across the upper Texas coast through Friday.
Already four spots in Houston have recorded more than 40 inches (100 centimeters) of rain, with the weather service's forecast office topping the list at more than 42 inches (105 centimeters). Twenty different locations in Houston have recorded more than 3 feet (90 centimeters) of rain.
Harvey continues to move slowly east over the Gulf of Mexico maintaining tropical storm force winds of 45 mph (72 kph). It is expected to make landfall again Wednesday morning, probably in southwestern Louisiana.
Houston-area residents who lost their pets in the scramble to escape Harvey flooding can stop by a shelter to see if the animals have been found.
The Harris County Animal Shelter says it will be open from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to allow owners to reclaim their lost pets. Shelter officials say no animals been taken in since Saturday, so any pets lost since then are not at the facility.
A three-day hold requirement for strays has been temporarily lifted in an effort to move animals out of the shelter as soon as possible during the natural disaster.
For now the shelter is not accepting additional animals due to limited staffing. Phone inquiries are not being accepted.
The American Red Cross says there are more than 17,000 people in Texas seeking refuge in shelters.
Red Cross spokesman Don Lauritzen said Tuesday that there are 45 shelters in the Houston area, along the Gulf Coast and elsewhere. He says more are opening in Louisiana.
The shelter in Texas holding the most people is the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston with upward of 9,000.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said Tuesday that the cavernous Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in that city is ready to hold upward of 5,000 people.
But Rawlings says it's not clear how many people will be housed at the Hutchison center because of the difficulty those in the Houston area are having finding dry roads and highways to travel along.
Vice President Mike Pence is warning the people of Southeast Texas that Harvey is still dangerous and that life-threatening flooding will continue.
Pence is urging residents to continue to listen their state and local officials. He commented during interviews Tuesday with radio stations serving Corpus Christi and San Antonio.
Houston has been paralyzed by a storm that struck on Friday and has been parked over the Gulf Coast ever since. More than 30 inches (75 centimeters) of rain has fallen in some areas and nearly 2 feet (60 centimeters) more is expected, leading authorities to fear the worst might be yet to come.
Pence says he and his wife, Karen, will visit the region later this week.
President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, were scheduled to visit Corpus Christi and Austin on Tuesday.