Images show water going over, through and around flood protection in downtown garages

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 09:43AM
The images are incredible inside the garage where more than 100 city vehicles flooded during Hurricane Harvey.


HOUSTON - Six weeks after floodwater poured into downtown parking garages, contractors are still pumping water from a facility the city thought was flood-proof.

"It's been a place that's been secured and not prone to flooding," said Jed Greenfield, the city's spokesperson for the fleet management department.

The city lost more than 100 cars when the underground Tranquility garage flooded, some of them parked three stories below ground.

PHOTOS: Water destroys buildings, cars and downtown parking garages


We've shown you the water that rushed in and around floodgates, through some walls and over others.

And then there's this: video taken by HoustonFirst, the city agency that runs the garage, appearing to show a nearly eight-foot tall hole in a glass wall allowing water to rush right into the garage.



ABC13 went to see the hole today, and it remains. The water does not.

Perhaps more concerning in the photos is what appears to be a broken flood gate. The photos appear to show the door fell down along a weld.

Photos taken before the storm show crews preparing to close it.

A missing section of the flood wall is seen after water ripped it from its hinges.

A giant flood door, ripped from the wall, lies on the ground after water destroyed it.



HoustonFirst maintained extensive logs showing regular maintenance on the gates and flood doors and none of the logs showed any major problems.

Today HoustonFirst said it hired a company to find out what when wrong. That company will complete a "forensic assessment" to detail what happened to cause so much damage.

Even if you thought that underground garage would never flood in Harvey, the foolproof solution could've been to put those city-owned cars above ground in another parking garage nearby. It has 13 floors above ground parking just two blocks from City Hall and that flooded garage. If you don't like this one there's one there - another two blocks away.

"There's limited access to above-ground parking downtown," Greenfield said. "The city doesn't own any of those [lots]."

Do you have a story tip, idea or question for Ted Oberg Investigates? Let us know, at abc13.com/tedstips

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