"We put out a request for volunteers...and within 45 minutes we had more than enough [signed up]," said SAPD Assistant Chief Anthony Treviño at a Wednesday news conference. "It shows the true character of our officers that in times of need they're willing to drop everything, leave their families behind and help communities in need."
Treviño said the officers were prepped to be "ready for anything" in Houston, from assisting with medical care to patrolling for looters. Most officers will partner up with Houston police officers already familiar with the city and disaster needs.
"It's not your typical assignment," he said. The officers will stay at a downtown Houston hotel.
Meanwhile, San Antonio's emergency shelters are expected to see an influx of some 6,000 evacuees from Houston. The city-wide shelters currently hold around 900 people who've been evacuated from the South Texas coastline — most came on buses from Rockport, Port Aransas, and the Corpus Christi area last week.
It's unknown if the city plans on opening new shelters to provide space for the expected newcomers.
Texas Department of Public Safety estimates that nearly 49,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed by Harvey, resulting in more than $96.7 million in damages to public property. By now, 33 counties have been declared federal disaster areas, meaning they're eligible for financial assistance through FEMA. According to Gov. Greg Abbott, there are around 32,000 people are in shelters across Texas and 210,000 Texans have registered for federal disaster assistance. At least 20 people have been confirmed dead.
But, Abbott warned in a Wednesday press conference,"The worst is not yet over for southeast Texas."