ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Guests are working to find out how badly their cars are damaged after the valet parking garage flooded at The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club Thursday night.
More than three dozen cars were damaged or destroyed, according to Tow 2 Tow drivers who helped to tow the cars Friday afternoon.
Strong storms caused flooding in Downtown St. Petersburg on Thursday evening, dumping 3.6 inches of rain in one hour combined with high tide.
Rick Graham is staying at The Vinoy and had parked his truck on the valet level. He said he watched the storm roll in and later got a call from hotel management, telling him his car was likely under about two-feet of water.
Annie Chiodo's brand new Jeep Renegade and Dennis Delong's brand new Honda Ridgeline Pickup Truck were both damaged by the floodwater. "There is no reason to be mad. This is something that nobody could have predicted. It's sad though! It's the only vehicle I had," Chiodo said.
Randy Welch of North Carolina says his rental car was damaged but inside he had $20,000 worth of professional equipment which he was using for a conference at the Vinoy.
Debbie Sugden and her husand's car was also destroyed in the water. "It makes us real angry!" she exclaimed.
CARS DAMAGED | Rick and Ann Graham look on as workers try and pump nearly two feet of water out of The Vinoy parking garage in St. Petersburg. Their truck is still inside and they are hoping to inspect the damage. @abcactionnews pic.twitter.com/zdOjbr69NU— Lauren Rozyla-Wong (@LaurenRozyla) August 2, 2019
"It's unbelievable the amount of rain that came down as quickly as it did," he said.
Workers are trying to pump the water out of the garage and are telling guests it's unclear when they will be able to go in to look at their vehicles. The floodwater is full of leaves, sticks, twigs, mulch and other debris.
The flooding at The Vinoy left lots of debris behind, including mulch, leaves, sticks and more all over the parking garage and sidewalk. People still haven't been able to go inside and check their cars and there's no timeline of when they can do so. @abcactionnews pic.twitter.com/3TJxG1K4So— Lauren Rozyla-Wong (@LaurenRozyla) August 2, 2019
In the meantime, hotel security says the P2 parking garage that leads to the upper levels is open.