DALLAS - People who parked on the lower levels of garages at Love Field Airport were in for an unpleasant surprise when they found their vehicles underwater.
The lower levels of Garage A flooded during the heavy storms overnight Tuesday. Dozens of vehicles were partially submerged. Others were completely under about 5 to 6 feet of water.
The airport received about 3.5 inches of rain overnight, but there are also suspicions about the drainage system.
Workers closed both garages and have been trying to pump the water out. But for many of the vehicles on the lowest levels, it’s too late.
“An unfortunate situation. Something we’re very sorry about,” said Chris Perry, a spokesman for the airport. “We implore customers if you have had water damage to please file a claim with your insurance company and also file an incident report with the city of Dallas’ Office of Risk Management.”
Jay Carstens got good news. He flew in Wednesday morning to find the flooding had just barely missed his car on Level 1 of Garage A.
“My wife told me it was flooded, and I saw some pictures on Facebook,” he said. “I was hoping my car wasn’t in trouble.”
Others were much worse off.
Chris Chappell’s arrival Tuesday night was canceled because of weather. By the time he arrived early Wednesday morning, his car was among the dozens damaged.
“And then I proceeded to come over here to find my car. And low and behold, it’s underwater,” he said. “No one gave me any warning or anything. It’s not even safe over here.”
The lower level was closed to traffic, and lower level ground transportation will remain closed Wednesday, as more rain is expected. Those looking for ground transportation should go to the upper-level roadway.
Perry said Love Field will remain open Wednesday, but people arriving at the airport will need to park in Garage C.
“We still have plenty of parking in Garage C. The newer garage, it was built to withstand something like this. Being below grade here, we’re at a bit of a disadvantage,” he said.
Perry said the storms this past weekend also caused some flooding in the lower levels, but it wasn’t as bad.
On April 13, Dallas received almost two inches of rain. A woman, who did not want her name to be used, shared photos of her Audi Q5 on that day, flooded while parked on level one of garage A. Her insurance claim states that the car was a total loss.
Perry said prior to that, the airport hadn’t experienced many problems with flooding.
“It’s something we’re working to resolve,” he said.
Airport officials say the terminals were not affected, thanks to a floodwall system installed in 2014. They did have to temporarily close one runway overnight.
Crews are investigating to see if there was a blockage in the airport’s stormwater system, causing the garages to flood.
“Water that’s running off from the neighborhoods to our east and from the airport, draining to the west. We think that may be part of the issue,” Perry said.
Chris Chappell, car damaged at Love Field
“But if you had flooding and people are paying to park here, that should’ve been an engineering issue. Figure out at alternate situation,” Chappell said.
Water has receded to a level for customers to reach affected vehicles in Garage A. The airport is gathering license plate and information of the affected vehicles. They will have a list of affected vehicles Wednesday evening. They can be contacted at email@example.com or 214-670-5683.
The airport says it will not be towing any vehicles, but private tows can be arranged.