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Addicks Reservoir
Water from Addicks Reservoir flows into neighborhoods as floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey rise Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Houston officials plan to open more mega-shelters to house flood victims


Churches, mosques and various organizations have opened their doors to Texans seeking shelter from Harvey's record-breaking flooding as the George R. Brown Convention Center fills up beyond its maximum capacity.

More than 17,000 people have sought refuge in Texas shelters and that number seems to be quickly increasing, according to the American Red Cross.

The Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH) said two mosques in its network will be open 24 hours a day.

"Our prayer is for all of those affected by Harvey," ISGH said on its website. "Our Social Services Committee continues to work to ensure people in need receive food, shelter, and comfort in the wake of this horrific event."

In addition, the ISGH lists a number of distribution centers that will be providing hygiene products, food and water to those in need.

Pastor Joel Osteen opened the doors of his Houston-area megachurch to the public after receiving criticism on social media for his church's response to Hurricane Harvey. Lakewood Church can house more than 16,000 people.

A local television station, KHOU, has a full list of churches, mosques, community centers, high schools and other locations that are open for those seeking shelter.

Houston officials said Tuesday that they plan to open two or three more mega-shelters to help accommodate more people.

"We are not turning anyone away. But it does mean we need to expand our capabilities and our capacity," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said. "Relief is coming."

City officials have filed a formal request with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for more supplies for an additional 10,000 people. The mayor said he hopes supplies will arrive no later than Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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