Omni Hotel guests find vehicles submerged in flood waters

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by Malini Basu / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on September 21, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Updated Saturday, Sep 21 at 7:03 PM

HOUSTON – Guests staying at the Omni Hotel in The Galleria area found their cars, trucks and SUV’s underwater Saturday morning after heavy rains caused Buffalo Bayou to flood the parking lot.

“The mats are up in the seats aren’t they?” Pam Smith, a guest, said, describing the damage left behind.

Smith and her husband are salvaging whatever they can from their Lincoln Navigator. The Smiths are in the process of moving back from College Station.

“That dog bed is ours, that green tarp, we’re re-doing a town house,” Smith said pointing to several items washed up in the parking lot.

Friday evening, couple decided to valet park their truck.

“It’s a shame, when you trust people to valet things and this is what happens…There are hotels that -- this sort of thing -- if it happens, hey that’s what you get for staying at a place like that, I guess that’s the best way,” Smith said.

“You can tell there is mud all on top of the cars. The cars were submerged,” Jarred Vandermark, another hotel guest, said.

Guests said at least 30 cars parked in the lower level were affected. Elizabeth Hopkins and her husband saw the Buffalo Bayou raging this morning.

“Within five minutes, it (the water) just came up to here,” Hopkins said gesturing to her waist.

“The water level was at least knee deep. When I opened the door, it was coming inside. There were inches of water inside of the cars,” Vandermark said.

Vandermark is here from Richmond, Va. for a friend’s wedding. v“We were surprised no one put signs up in front of the puddles, there were multiple cars driving through,” Vandermark said.

KHOU 11 News is still waiting for a response from the Omni Hotel about who will pay for the damage.

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