• By Giulia Afiune, The Texas Tribune
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Hurricane Harvey has directly or indirectly taken the lives of as least 88 Texans, according to preliminary numbers released Friday by the Department of State Health Services.

Though displaced from their homes by Hurricane Harvey, 39 students are continuing their education by attending classes in Killeen-area schools, according to Terry Abbott, chief communications officer for the Killeen Independent School District.

As a part of a career that has taken him across the country before landing him at Texas A&M University-Central Texas, Russ Porter, vice president of research and economic development at the university in Killeen, has borne witness to Mother Nature’s wrath on more than one occasion.

More and more Brazoria County evacuees have returned home now that the threat from Harvey has officially passed, and American Red Cross staff and volunteers at the Fairway Middle School shelter say only 18 evacuees remain at the building.

When four Killeen police officers made the decision to travel to the Houston area and help evacuate people from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, they thought people would be jumping into their boat. The last thing they imagined was people would turn down their offer.

Teresa Khan, a Hurricane Harvey evacuee, was walking her dogs and waiting for them to do their duty Saturday at the evacuee shelter in Killeen. When Izzy and Papi were finished, she told the dogs, “let’s go home ... well inside.”

They came from as close as Garth Drive in Killeen and as far away as Woodstock, Illinois. No matter where the origin, volunteers made the shelter at Fairway Middle School in Killeen run effectively enough to house more than 450 Hurricane Harvey evacuees.

If all goes according to plan, the Killeen shelter for Hurricane Harvey evacuees will be empty by the end of the week, according to Bell County Commissioner John Fisher.

AUSTIN — The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced the opening of a Joint Field Operations Office in Austin, allowing the agency to better coordinate Hurricane Harvey relief efforts with the military and state, nonprofit and faith-based organizations.

The Killeen area is home — either temporarily or long-term — to people fleeing the effects of Hurricane Harvey.

Before Hurricane Harvey swept through the Houston area, Allie Davis was homeless and pregnant, living in a tent with her husband Jareth. Now, she’s an evacuee staying at a shelter in the old Fairway Middle School in Killeen, 250 miles away from Lake Jackson, the city she called home.

The Killeen Special Events Center, 3301 S. W.S. Young Drive, is a centralized site for donations, though Bell County Judge Jon Burrows said Thursday that the evacuees’ needs have been met and further donations of food and clothing are not being accepted.

Maj. John Dunlapp of Fort Hood’s 61st Quartermaster Battalion, summed up plans for the approximately 100 military vehicles and 400 soldiers who will be providing support and assistance in the southern Texas areas affected by Hurricane Harvey: “With any mission, there’s always uncertainty.”

At least another 50 people fleeing Tropical Storm Harvey’s flood waters arrived in Bell County in their own vehicles Tuesday, and some have made their way to shelters in Killeen and Harker Heights.

UPDATE, 8:40 a.m.: Bell County emergency officials said nearly 100 evacuees arrived from the Houston area overnight Tuesday, not the 1,000 who were originally expected. About 400 total evacuees are in the county now, and more are expected.

Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets and stores throughout the area were reporting “spot outages” of unleaded fuel Tuesday as shuttered refineries on the Texas coast have created high demand throughout South and Central Texas.

Residents are reporting low levels of unleaded fuel at gas stations throughout the region as a spike in demand from South Texans fleeing Tropical Storm Harvey continues to impact availability.

At first, the water that seeped into Lanise and Belinda Williams’ Houston home was at ankle depth. That didn’t alarm them right away. They were in Houston during Hurricane Allison in 2001, and the water got up to their ankles just like it was now.

The Office of Emergency Management for Bell County expected to receive about 1,000 evacuees from Brazoria County, which is under mandatory evacuation procedures because of Tropical Storm Harvey.

Texas A&M University-Central Texas social work field director and associate lecturer Tammy Molina Moore is organizing an effort to help the people of Rockport — one of the areas on the Texas coast hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey.

What was Tropical Storm Harvey is now Hurricane Harvey, and the storm — nearly 180 miles wide — is slated to slam into the middle of the Texas coastline sometime Friday, the National Hurricane Center said Thursday.

August and September are historically the most active months for hurricane season in Texas, and the Department of Public Safety has issued a news release containing safety tips for area residents.