DALLAS — This week marks the two-month anniversary of the flooding in a parking garage at Dallas Love Field Airport.
Cars are no longer allowed to park in the spaces that flooded on the lower level of Garage A in April. Drivers will notice red lines painted over what used to be the outline of parking spaces, as well as “No Parking” signs.
The airport released a statement to WFAA saying:
“The areas in Garage A affected by the flooding event on April 24 have not experienced any additional flooding during subsequent rain storms. Those areas have, however, been closed to the public out of an abundance of caution plus we have plenty of parking available throughout our three parking garages. It was determined that it was an obstruction in the drain system that contributed to the flooding, along with an outfall gate that was inundated by the heavy rain. Work has been ongoing since the flooding event.”
Donna Scheel’s car was parked in Row C of Level 1 in Garage A. Her car was totaled after the flooding.
“You try to forget about it, because it makes you angry that you entrusted your car – you paid money to park in a garage thinking that it would be safe, and that the garage would be well-maintained,” Scheel said. “Then finding out that the city has known about the flooding issue and that they didn’t give everyone these nice red stripes that they have now – (it) would’ve been nice if they would’ve done that for us.”
WFAA learned the flooding that damaged Scheel’s car was not the first time this parking garage took on a significant amount of water.
We first introduced you to car owner Jessica Derr back in April. She said she parked her car on the lower level of Garage A on April 11. When her flight landed days later, she noticed several inches of water in her car.
Derr tried drying out the inside of her car with several fans. However, she has since taken her car to the shop and “it’s just been a nightmare since then,” she tells WFAA. To this day, her car is still not in working order.
A few weeks after Derr’s car flooded, dozens of cars were left in several inches of water when the lower level of Garage A flooded April 23-24. That’s when Scheel’s car was totaled. During a press conference, the airport acknowledged the same parking area had flooded a few weeks prior.
“It feels like you’ve been violated. Almost like having your house burglarized. Someone’s basically, neglectfully taken a possession from you that you paid good money for,” said Scheel.
City officials encouraged drivers with flooded vehicles to file claims with the city’s office of risk management. WFAA has confirmed at least 35 drivers filed claims.
Below is the statement the city released, regarding claims in Garage A:
The City of Dallas, as a municipality in Texas, is bound by the Texas Tort Claims Act when a claim is presented. The Act provides that a municipality is only responsible for property damage that arises out of the negligent use of motorized equipment by a city employee. Unfortunately, the vehicles that were flooded in the Love Field parking lot would not fall under this responsibility and the City would have immunity for these damages. Thus, claims submitted to the City will be denied.
The City of Dallas recommended that the vehicle owners report the claims to their insurance carriers to get immediate resolution of damages. If the vehicle owners insist on filing a claim, they can make a claim with the City by accessing the notice of claim form at: https://dallascityhall.com/departments/officeriskmanagement/Pages/default.aspx
Both Derr and Scheel filed claims and told WFAA the city did not claim responsibility.
“Finding out that the city was not going to pay anything or be responsible was aggravating,” said Scheel. “What was really aggravating is that the way they presented it to the public was, ‘We want everyone to file a claim with us,’ but behind the scenes, that claim didn’t mean anything.”
“You think, ‘Oh, well somebody’s going to make this right.’ Because that should be how the world works. But then you find out that ‘fair’ is really just a four-letter word after it’s all said and done,” said Scheel.