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Austin Runs Out Of Available Rooms For Hurricane Laura Evacuees, City Says

The projected path of Hurricane Laura has it hitting the Texas-Louisiana border overnight Wednesday.
The projected path of Hurricane Laura has it hitting the Texas-Louisiana border overnight Wednesday.

Austin is turning away Hurricane Laura evacuees who were planning on staying in the area, the city said Wednesday morning, after running out of available hotel rooms.

City spokesperson Bryce Bencivengo said evacuees are now being told to travel to the Knights of Columbus Hall in Ennis, Texas — about 30 miles south of Dallas. Bencivengo said the city is trying to identify additional hotels for evacuees to take shelter.

On Tuesday, the city said  15 hotels would house people escaping the Category 3 hurricane. The state had requested Austin host up to 3,000 evacuees, but the city did not have an estimate on how many it would be able to house.

Evacuees were first bused to the Circuit of the Americas in southern Travis County before being transferred to hotels. Officials said they're avoiding the use of large shelters due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For updates, evacuees who were planning on traveling to Austin can call 211 or 512-978-1510. 

Laura is currently projected to strike the Texas-Louisiana border overnight, causing widespread flash flooding and damage from hurricane-force winds.

With reporting from Nadia Hamdan

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Copyright 2020 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit .

Andy Jechow is the social media coordinator for KUT News. After graduating from American University in Washington, D.C., with a bachelor's degree in international studies, he returned home to Texas — in need of greasy Tex-Mex — and became a TV news producer. Before joining KUT in November 2018, he worked as a digital content producer at Austin NBC affiliate KXAN News. When he's not at work, Andy enjoys attending book signings and watching classic movies.