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UTC tenants say cars flooded because management failed to warn them

Posted at 5:40 PM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 21:28:05-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)-- Residents at a University City apartment complex are upset after they claim property managers neglected to warn them about flooding in the parking garage. Now, about ten tenants say their cars are underwater-- most of them totaled.

Natali Gonzalez misses her Toyota Camry. She never got to say goodbye.

"We walked out at around 11 am to retrieve our car, and to our surprise, it was flooded," Gonzalez said.

Tuesday morning, Gonzalez walked into the La Jolla Crossroads parking garage to find her car and her neighbors' cars nearly floating.

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"I couldn't even open the doors," she said. "The locks weren't working. I had to manually open it."

Gonzalez says property management did notify residents three times about a water shut-off, but those warnings said nothing about flooding.

At 9:31 am, notices Gonzalez showed us said they had experienced an "unforeseen emergency to the main water line," and that management would provide portable toilets. Five hours later, they said they would provide drinking and cooking water. But at 5:24pm, property management added that there was alternative parking available at a nearby structure — nothing else.

"I know they know it was flooded because there were people down there," Gonzalez remembered. "They weren't allowing us to be down there. They said it was unsafe for us to be down there. So I know they were aware of it. But the emails didn't say anything."

Gonzalez says not only were they not notified of the rising waters or the damage to her cars, but it also seemed like they were trying to hide it from them.

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Luckily for Gonzalez, she has comprehensive insurance, so she is covered. But some of her neighbors don't, so they are down on their luck. She is hoping property management steps up to ensure this never happens again.

"I understand things happen," Gonzalez said sympathetically. "But if we would have been notified first thing in the morning, like, 'Hey, the water levels are rising!' The fact that they didn't notify us did bother me, and it would have been nice to receive some notification or some type of apology."

10News contacted the La Jolla Crossroads multiple times. We requested that the property management or corporate office return our calls to see why they did not notify residents, or if they would be compensating them for damages. They did not get back to us.