Shelter at NRG opens its doors to first 1,000 flood victims

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- There is still plenty of room for flood victims at a newly-opened emergency shelter at NRG.

METRO buses filled with people escaping high water rolled into the parking lot of NRG after 10 p.m. last night. Right now, 1,030 people are staying at the shelter.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett announced Tuesday they would open the doors to welcome 10,000 guests in the same place that housed Hurricane Katrina evacuees 12 years ago.

In addition to offering a dry and safe place to sleep, volunteers have readied clean clothing, toiletries and meals for our neighbors in need.

Heading up the shelter are two people many Houstonians will instantly recognize: former Harris County Judge Robert Eckles and former Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

Eckles said opening NRG to storm evacuees again will be different this time around.

WATCH: "This city will come together," former judge says
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Former Harris Co. Judge Robert Eckles told Eyewitness News this situation is far different from that seen during Hurricane Katrina.

Unlike during Hurricane Katrina, Eckles said shelter workers can't just help place these flood victims in any home or any area of town.

"Here, most of these folks have a home to go back to, or they have a job or school or some other reason to go back to their neighborhood," Eckles said. "For many of these folks, they just need the water to go down."

Eckles said the county will be working with FEMA to make sure people, like those hard hit in areas including Channelview, North Shore and areas in east Harris County, can get back to their homes.

But, while these challenges are different from the experience we had with housing New Orleans evacuees, some things remain the same.

Just as Emmett called upon the Republican Eckles and Democrat Parker to lead, the former county judge said the city and county will unite for the cause of getting flood victims back on their feet.

"We have a tradition in Houston of helping each other, and this city will come together," he said. "Houses will get rebuilt, we'll get people resettled. It's just what we do.

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