Joel Osteen's Church Why Delay Opening? Parking Lot Bone-Dry Monday Morning

8/29/2017 10:30 AM PDT

Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church Parking Lot Bone-Dry 24 Hours Ago ... Why the Delay?

EXCLUSIVE

Joel Osteen's church finally opened to Houston evacuees Tuesday morning, but several videos make it seem like they could have provided relief much earlier.

A local resident shot this video Monday at 7 AM inside one of Lakewood Church's underground parking areas ... and it's damn near bone-dry. The resident acknowledges the lot was flooded over the weekend when Hurricane Harvey was at its worst.

On Monday, Lakewood officials said the church was closed due to severe flooding -- but fact is there was no outside evidence of that more than 24 hours ago. Plus, witnesses tell us church staffers and security were on the grounds Monday.

The church released photos showing flooding on Sunday evening into Monday morning ... near the lower level entrances of the building.

The question: why the delay in opening the doors?

In any event, the first evacuees started arriving at Lakewood Tuesday around 12:30 PM local time.