Medical Center ready for flooding

By Mary Lee, Meteorologist, mlee@kprc.com
Published On: Sep 28 2012 04:58:27 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 28 2012 06:35:02 PM CDT

Sept. 28, 2012: The Texas Medical Center is ready for any potential flooding from this weekend's possible storms. Mary Lee reports.

HOUSTON -

The Texas Medical Center is ready for any potential flooding from this weekend's possible storms.

Ten million gallons of water flooded the UT Health Medical School from Tropical Storm Allison. We're not expecting anything as catastrophic as that this weekend, but if the Houston area sees any flooding, the Medical Center is ready with flood doors and gates.

"We have a 24-hour presence on campus where we monitor the weather all the time," said Robert Emery, UT Health vice president of safety. "We've been in this business long enough to not presume all these systems will work. We've moved all of our valuable infrastructure from the lower levels. We prepare for the worst, hope for the best. We drill this each year to make sure the systems do work."

The Texas Medical Center launched a massive flood protection plan after Tropical Storm Allison devastated the area, including the UT Health Medical School. Flood waters rose 33 feet off the ground, resulting in $87 million in damage. More than a decade later, this building has waterproof walls and aquarium glass. Twenty-three flood doors and gates now surround the building to keep dangerous flood waters out. Each of the 23 flood doors can close in under five minutes.

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