In the aftermath of Harvey, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences is about to run out of room for the dead — the morgue has a capacity of 200 bodies and now has about 175 bodies total.
Although most of the dead are not related to the storm, Tricia Bentley, a spokeswoman for the facility, said Thursday that funeral homes have been unable to retrieve the bodies and it has asked for a large refrigerated 18-wheeler to store more of them.
The agency has requested approval from the state for the tractor-trailer and expects to receive it Friday.
The county, which has had the most deaths from Harvey and is home to the fifth-most populated metropolitan area in the United States, has confirmed 18 storm-related deaths and is investigating 10 more as potentially Harvey-related.
The confirmed death toll from Harvey stood at 31 Thursday afternoon, though it is expected to rise.
Harvey initially slammed Texas as a Category 4 hurricane on Friday, then went back out to sea and lingered off the coast as a tropical storm for days, inundating flood-prone Houston, Harris County’s seat.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.