Flood Risk America Saves a Parking Garage in San Jose From Flooding

On February 5, 2024, the San Jose region faced its first heavy rainfall of the season, leading to flood streets, power outages, and substantial damages. Responding quickly during the storm, FRA flood panels were installed to prevent flooding into a parking garage.

The flood panels proved highly effective and stopped flood waters from infiltrating the building, avoiding potential damage. The property owner commended the FRA flood panels for safeguarding their elevators and preventing costly damages.

What Can Happen When a Parking Garage Floods

Parking garages are particularly susceptible to flooding because they are low-lying, situated at ground level or below ground. They often lack the elevation needed to withstand rising water levels during heavy rainfall or flooding events.

Without adequate flood protection, flooding in a parking garage can pose several dangers, including:

Property damage - Floodwaters can damage vehicles parked in the garage, as well as any equipment or personal belongings stored inside them. When floodwaters infiltrate, it carries with it leaves, branches, garbage, and other debris that can lead to further damage.

Electrical hazards - Floodwaters can create slippery surfaces, increasing the risk of slips, trips, and falls for all who need to use the garage. This is especially hazardous in poorly lit areas or where there are uneven surfaces.

  • Health hazards - Contaminants such as chemicals, sewage, or bacteria are often found in floodwaters, which can cause illnesses or infections if they come into contact with skin, eyes, or if ingested.
  • Structural instability - Flooding can weaken the structural integrity of the parking garage, leading to collapse or other structural failures. This poses a significant risk to anyone inside the garage or nearby structures.
  • Emergency access restrictions - Flooded parking garages may hinder emergency responders’ access to the area in the event of an emergency, such as a fire or medical crisis. Limited access can delay response times and exacerbate the situation.
  • Business closure and inconvenience - Even after the threat of flood is long gone, the clean up and restoration can take weeks. Whether it’s a business or a residential complex, repairing a parking garage requires full or partial closure for safety. This can impact businesses and residents and make it inconvenient for all who use the building.
  • Financial loss - Repairing the damage caused by flooding can be expensive for property owners. Repairs can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and insurance may not provide full coverage.
    Drainage Systems Are Not Enough to Protect Against Floodwaters

Oftentimes, property owners make the mistake of thinking that built-in drainage systems in the parking garage are enough to protect against rising floodwaters. However, this is never the case.

The capacity of drainage systems in parking garages is typically designed to handle normal rainwater runoff, rather than the excessive volumes of severe storms or flooding events. These systems can become overwhelmed by the rapid influx of water during heavy rainfall, leading to backups and ultimately contributing to flooding within the garage.

Additionally, factors such as clogged drains, inadequate maintenance, or design flaws can compromise the effectiveness of drainage systems. Even with these systems in place, parking garages remain susceptible to flooding. Additional flood prevention measures are necessary to minimize the risk of serious flood damage.

Why Flood Panels Are the Preferred Flood Protection Method for Parking Garages

One of the key components of flood panels is the quick deployment of removable flood barriers around vulnerable entrances and openings. These barriers, made from robust materials capable of withstanding high water pressure, can be quickly installed in the event of an impending flood.

With quick deployment, flood panels enable property owners to promptly warn occupants and visitors about the impending closure of the garage, giving them enough time to either enter the facility or evacuate safely.

Unlike other flood protection products that require tools and time-consuming labor to deploy, flood panels allow businesses and parking garages to remain operational until the last possible moment.

The most important benefits of FRA’s flood panels include:

  • FEMA-compliant
  • Insurance industry certified
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Quick installation and removal
  • Cost-effective
  • Marine-grade material
  • Lifetime warranty

Our flood protection systems are made in America, with many created out of the same marine-grade material possessing the ability to withstand hurricane force winds.

By partnering with experts like Flood Risk America, investing in effective flood protection systems, and constructing resilient buildings, communities can mitigate the risks posed by flooding and build a more resilient future for generations to come.