HOUSTON (AP) — Hundreds of people affected by devastating flooding in Houston have flocked to a downtown showcase convention center-turned-emergency shelter.

Many arrived Sunday carrying little more than what was in their pockets. Most are preparing for a stay of several days, as water rises inside their homes and roads remain impassable.

The American Red Cross was expanding the shelter by the hour.

Volunteers initially set out around 1,300 cots and quickly assembled more in anticipation of other evacuees arriving through the night. They have enough space and cots to house 5,000 people.

Police officers and medics stood by. Dozens of volunteers and residents arrived with bags of donations.

Several people said they wished they'd left Houston before Harvey hit, but they didn't because local officials didn't order a voluntary or mandatory evacuation.

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