City's storm cleanup 'grinds' operations to a halt at Dallas technical college for military vets

As the city of Dallas works to grind up the massive amounts of debris from the May 28 storm, an accredited Dallas technical college says all the dust has caused its HVAC units to break. 

Video from SKY 4 shows the mountain of mulch that’s being brought to an empty lot behind Medisend College of Biomedical Engineering Technology in the Lake Highlands area.

The college is suing the city of Dallas, saying it needed to soak the debris with water as it is turned into mulch to prevent it from clogging its AC units. 

The school has filed a petition for a temporary restraining order to bring the work to a halt. 

Nick Hallack is president and CEO of Medisend College. It trains military veterans on how to install and repair sophisticated medical equipment.

He says the city's efforts to grind up hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of tree branches from the May 28 windstorm caused his school to grind to a halt. 

"The students started complaining that it was getting hot," he said.

Hallack says an AC repairman discovered the problem. 

"This one has a burned-out motor and compressor. It was filtering in large amounts of dust and dirt."

Lots of wood particles were clogging the system.

"These are the air conditioners to the imaging lab and X-ray lab. We can't turn them on because they will filter that dust into the laboratories," said Hallack.

FOX 4 reached out to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. A spokesman said the agency received a complaint on June 27 alleging large plumes of dust were impacting the property. 

The spokesperson said in a statement, "Dallas County was added to the state disaster declaration on May 28, 2024. The site at 12000 Greenville Avenue was approved as a temporary debris management site… They started grinding activities the week of June 17 and have water trucks at the site for dust control. The complaint investigation is ongoing."

Hallack says he had to cancel classes last week while the AC was out. This week, they are having half-day classes.

"They basically put us to a stop," he said.

FOX 4 asked the city of Dallas for a response. A spokesperson said, "Due to pending litigation, we cannot comment at this time."

The lawsuit says the cost to replace the damaged equipment and the lost revenue would be in excess of $1 million.

"My major concern is our veterans and serving them, the ones who served our country," Hallack said.

FOX 4 asked the city if a temporary restraining order is granted, what impact that might have on the storm cleanup.

The city is still working to collect more debris around the city to bring to this site. 

A spokeswoman said the city cannot comment on that either.