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Thursday, 11 June 2015 00:00

Hospitals, Body Shops, and Other Businesses Cope with Texas Floods

Several businesses and hospitals were busy cleaning up the mess from the May 28 rainstorms and flooding, which meant temporary closures for some, but a boost in business for others.

By the morning of May 29, Lubbock, TX had received 3.23 inches of rain within 24 hours. With that much rain in a short period of time, streets flooded, and some, like Avenue Q, were closed off. Parks like Mackenzie Park were under water and many vehicles and homes were left with water damage.

Shannon Wilson / A-J Media
Gary Phillips, an employee at Joyland Amusement Park, cleans water out of the bumper cars arena on Friday. The park is shut down for the remainder of this week and next week to clean up after flooding that occurred during Thursday's storms.


Charles Pharies, Carpet Tech vice president, said by 1 p.m. Thursday the carpet cleaning and repair shop had about 75 water damage calls.

“We’ve had another 30 to 35 today (Friday),” Pharies said. “Normally, when we get really big storms like that it’s more commercial, but it’s probably 75 percent residential. We have about 1,500 blowers and about 300 humidifiers so we’re well equipped. Nobody’s slept around here in a few days. We haven’t turned anybody down.”

Pharies said getting water damage taken care of quickly is the key in saving money on repairs. He said Carpet Tech employees will go in homes, suck out the water, dispose of the carpet pads and determine if the carpet is salvageable.

“Time is not your friend,” he said. “The worst thing you can do is wait because what starts to happen is (the water) starts to deteriorate the carpet and it starts to soak up into the walls. That’s the most costly thing to do in a water damage situation — to dry out the actual structure.”

Shain Rebber with Christian Brothers Automotive said the car repair shop’s employees worked on 10 cars with water damage, and about 40 total this month. He said the worst damage that can happen to a car is for water to get in the engine.

“If water gets inside the engine, water doesn’t break down,” Rebber said. “There are metal rods that run the engine and (water) bends those metal components internally. If you get enough water it essentially ceases the entire engine.”

Rebber said many of the cars had some internal upholstery damage from being in the water.

“Most that we seen here have been in enough water that there is water that came into the vehicle internally, but mostly a good detail can save it,” he said. “They do remove it, suck out all the water, they clean it, they dry it and reinstall it.”

Businesses in the Avenue Q area had to close their doors early on May 28 and some had to deal with water damage for the second time this month.

Brent Bloodworth said he had to close iOrchard, a computer store at 2306 Ave. Q, right after the city closed off Avenue Q around 3 p.m. May 28. He said there was no flood damage to the store but there were a couple of cars stranded in the water on Avenue Q.

“That street always floods because of the drainage pond just south of Orlando’s,” Bloodworth said. “There was a white minivan stuck out there and a four-door vehicle that was stuck as well.”

Just two buildings away from iOrchard is Orlando’s, which was closed May 28 from flooding in the restaurant. The restaurant at 2402 Ave. Q also had flood damage from rainstorms earlier this month.

“There is one building between us and Orlando’s and they’re downhill from us,” Bloodworth said. “They’re in the low point.”

Pharies said Carpet Tech helped with flood damage at Orlando’s on both occasions. He said damage to the restaurant on May 28 was less severe. As of May 29, Orlando’s was open for business.

“They used sandbags and it was much less severe when we got there than it was last time,” Pharies said. “There are people that know they’re in a flood plain so those people use sandbags and build barricades around their properties or doorways.”

Joyland Amusement Park at Mackenzie Park also saw flooding expected to shut down the park for a week.Kristi Dean, Joyland sales representative, said officials have to wait for the water to dry to assess the damage and clean up the mess.

“We have to wait for the water to go down to even get into Joyland to see what’s happened,” she said. “We know most of the things that water has got into. We just have to see how far up into the park it got. With the creek overflowing there is this murky mess everywhere. Sometimes there are dead fish and whatever washes up out of the creek ends up here.”


Officials at University Medical Center had no estimate for water damage at the hospital after the May 28 rainstorm.

Eric Finley, spokesman for UMC, said everything is open and running at the hospital.

UMC had rainwater in the basement that affected IT and medical records; on the first floor of a portion of the hospital that has only one floor in administration; on the second floor surgery in the operating room unit; and on the fourth floor in the medical intensive care unit.

The second floor surgery area is near an outer wall, Finley said, while the fourth floor ICU is on the top floor of the west tower.

The first-floor administrative area and fourth-floor ICU floods can probably be attributed to leaky roofs, Finley said, but he said he is not sure why the second-floor surgery area leaked.

As of the morning of May 29, Finley said nothing was closed at UMC.

UMC did not have to move patients because of the flooding, he said, but considered going into diversion status, in which the hospital could not take more patients and would divert them to another medical facility.

Nearby at Covenant Health, Leslie Cransford said the hospital is seeing no residual effects from the storms May 28, “just some cleanup from the minor leaks.”

In an email, Cranford said patient care was not affected and there were no power outages.

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