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Plaza Tower Residents Retrieve Flood-Damaged Vehicles

Posted at 7:05 PM, May 03, 2013

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Tow truck driver Ralph Siegel worked to pull dozens of damaged vehicles from the Plaza Towers Apartment parking garage.

“It’s been real busy,” Siegel said.

Snow melt and heavy rains in late April caused the Grand River to flood. That sent 1.3 million gallons of water into the parking garage beneath the building.

Sump pumps were put in place to pump the water out. Despite the effort, the building’s director of operations says about 80 vehicles have been affected.

“[There’s a] lot of water damage. Usually we got to pull the carpet out and the seats out, and sometimes we gotta replace the back on the carpeting and as far as the engines and stuff go we’ll have to drain them down and all the fluids got to be taken out,” Siegel explained.

Maniarmpresad Ravikumar’s Volkswagon was one of those vehicles. He’s one of about a thousand displaced residents. They’ve been out since April 20th. He said his vehicle is totaled.

“It’s real bad,” he said. “It’s water everywhere, and also got in the engine and stuff,” he explained.

Siegel said his shop, Quality Auto service, is busy without once going on at Plaza Towers. it’s a workload he’s prepared to take on one by one.

Ravikumar said he feels building management, Eenhorn, could have handled communication immediately after the flooding, a little better.

“They started communicating after like, 2 or 3 days. Before that, there was no emails there was no phone calls,” he said.

In the meantime, the director of operations said a number of safety checks are being done by the Grand Rapids fire department. They’re going room to room to make sure everything is safe. That includes checking the ventilation system.

The director of operations says that residents should be able to move back in by next Wednesday.