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How a Property Manager Used AquaDam to Save a Flooded Houston Apartment Building After Harvey

How a Property Manager Used AquaDam to Save a Flooded Houston Apartment Building After Harvey Houston Business Journal (09/08/17) Takahashi, Paul

Debbie Sulzer knew she had to do something to save her flooded Houston apartment building following Hurricane Harvey. The Texas regional vice president of California-based Francis Property Management was overseeing leasing and operations of 7 Seventy, a Class A apartment community in Houston's Energy Corridor, when Harvey hit. Although 7 Seventy survived the hurricane's torrential downpours, the dam release from the nearby Addicks and Barker reservoirs flushed out a torrent of water that flooded the building's ground floor on Sept. 4. After witnessing AquaDams deployed along Interstate 10, one of Sulzer's project coordinators recommended that one be used at the 7 Seventy apartment community. Sulzer conferred with John Francis, the owner of Francis Property Management, who gave the green light.

This marked the first time that AquaDam has been applied to a multifamily housing property. Francis Property Management bought a 1,300-linear-foot-long AquaDam, had it shipped in from Mississippi, and deployed the 3.5-foot-tall flood barrier around the southwest corner of 7 Seventy on Sept. 6. The property manager ran four gas-powered water pumps round the clock. After almost two full days, the floodwater has been completely pumped out of the apartment complex's first floor. "It was a big risk, but it worked out perfectly," Sulzer stated. "AquaDam saved the asset, without a doubt." She noted that the AquaDam, installation, and water pumps cost Francis Property Management around $160,000. But it enabled property management to begin the mitigation process sooner and start getting power back to the property.