By Bud Gillett

DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS)– For the second time in six-and-a-half years, flooding from rainwater runoff has deluged the Baylor University Medical Center parking garage in Dallas, and while the hospital has installed warnings…no fixes appear imminent.

It took visitors by surprise during Saturday’s downpour.

“And I noticed everything was flooded over and I was just, ‘Oh, God!'”

A partially submerged car was the last thing on Dakota Andrew’s mind when he took his mother to the hospital.

“How am I supposed to explain this to an insurance company?” he asked.

Other drivers shared his disbelief.

“It’s a lake. It’s a lake. It’s not a parking lot, exclaimed Lea Munden of Kaufman, looking at her car and adding, “It’s gone, isn’t it? I’m no mechanic, but whoa!”

Baylor and city officials say an overloaded drainage system from Hall Street was the culprit.   Even a Dallas Fire-Rescue engine stalled out as it tried to navigate the Hall Street flooding.

Dallas Fire-Rescue, headquartered at city hall, would not go on camera to discuss what happened.  But they say there was no problem with emergency response because the engine was returning from a previous call when it stalled.
No one from Baylor would go on camera, either, saying its expert was in meetings all day looking at the issue.   A prepared statement said in part:

When sensors installed in the city storm drains under Hall Street are activated by rising water, our operations team executes certain protocols. This includes installing flood gates and alerting visitors and staff through an overhead page system to move cars out of the garage. 

Except it seems not everyone was notified in time.   “This is crazy—it’s crazy,” Latoya Jones told us.

Baylor claims 20-cars were impacted, and all but four were moved in time.  It also says the flooding problem is the city’s.

It is not a new issue.   In 2006, another downpour flooded out the garage along with much of East and West Dallas.   And in 1995, a major storm flooded whole sections of the city.  City officials want to put flood and erosion control on this November’s bond program.

According to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, “That’s where that money will go and that problem will go away.  It is in our hands and we’re excited about dealing with basics and this just exemplifies it.”

Meantime, it appears the hospital suffered no structural damage and it says no medical operations were effected.

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