All the rain filling the bayous and streets around the Texas Medical Center had some people flashing back to June of 2001, when Tropical Storm Allison caused widespread flooding, deaths and billions of dollars in damage. Houston Public Radio’s Jim Bell reports.
It really has been five years since Allison killed 22 people and flooded much of the Houston area, including the Texas Medical Center. All but one of the hospitals had backup power systems in their basements, and lost power completely when their basements flooded. Ben Taub was the one that didn’t lose power because its backup power was, and still is, above ground. Since then all the other hospitals have made a lot of changes, and Medical Center spokesman Bob Stott says things went fine today, and none of the hospitals lost power.
“All the institutions remained on power. To our knowledge, there weren’t any institutions that lost power.”
Water barriers are another major physical change at all the hospitals in the medical center. They’re small dikes built in sections that can be put in place quickly, and Stott says those barriers went into place right on cue this morning.
“The flood perimeter protection systems can be installed very quickly, and they were today. Very early this morning the alert went out from our command center and all the institutions responded in very short order getting their perimeter protection in place.”
Just one of many victims of the rain was the ceremony at which the name of the new downtown park was to be unveiled. It was rained out, and a spokesman says it’s been reset for 1pm tomorrow, at the new park in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.