Texas Medical Center ready to activate floodgates if necessary

Thursday, August 27, 2020
Texas Medical Center ready to activate floodgates if necessary
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Watch the video above the see the Texas Medical Center practice closing its floodgates ahead of Hurricane Laura. Officials say the entire process takes about 5 to 10 minutes.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Hospitals in the Texas Medical Center are closely watching Hurricane Laura as it nears the Texas and Louisiana coast.

Although forecasts now show the storm will not be having much of an impact in Houston, the hospitals are ready with a system of flood gates and doors across the world's largest medical complex.

"The forecast says that it's going to be off to the east, and we're expecting winds and a minimal amount of rain. However, if anything changes, we'd like to be prepared because we've learned our lessons in the past," said the assistant vice president of environmental health and safety at UT Health, Scott Patlovich.

McGovern Medical School closed their flood doors Wednesday afternoon ahead of any potential impact Hurricane Laura could have.

Staff said they have learned a lot of lessons after Tropical Storm Allison caused $80 million in damage to their building.

The storm also flooded tunnels and underground parking garages across the campus.

Houston Methodist said their floodgates are also ready to close, if needed. Officials are watching the bayou cameras, and once the water in the bayou reaches 10 feet, they'll close the outside gates. When the water level reaches 15 feet, they'll close the gates inside the tunnel.

"It's really incredible technology that really ensures the Texas Medical Center is safe and secure," said Roberta Schwartz, the executive vice president at Methodist Hospital.

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