Last year, heavy rains from Hurricane Harvey brought historic flooding to Houston streets. As the city’s residents experienced unprecedented amounts of flooding, some people found themselves in the fortunate position of escaping the waters of Harvey. Houstonians proved their resilience and communal strength as those with homes free of flooding welcomed in others who were not as fortunate—until things took a turn for the worse.
As the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs began to reach capacity, the United State Army Corps of Engineers began to release water to relieve pressure on the dams. This resulted in the destruction of homes and businesses that would have survived the floods to be suddenly and severely damaged overnight. In just a few hours, Harvey had claimed the property of over 10,000 Houstonians. While some residents have been able to move back home over the year since Harvey, thousands more are still waiting for the ability to return to their homes and restart their lives.
Houstonians Have a Constitutional Right to Compensation
This week, those that had their homes and businesses flooded due to the Army Corp’s decision to release water from the dams are demanding recovery. Because the Army Corp decided to knowingly flood property that would not have been otherwise damaged, they committed a seizure of land for government use. This means that, under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, this action requires fair compensation.
Arnold & Itkin Attorney Noah Wexler is representing residents that had their homes and businesses damaged in the flooding caused by the reservoir release. In a statement to CBS DFW, Noah stated, “Their action resulted in a flood of water onto these people’s property that would not have happened had the dams not been in place and operated as the government did.” He went on to assert the series of events “was an unconstitutional taking without just compensation.”
The fact is that the government used the private property of Houston residents to relieve the dams. This means that compensation must be provided to the residents that experienced unexpected loss. This compensation will help thousands of people still paying for damages to their homes, including the families that are still displaced by the storm. Arnold & Itkin looks forward to continuing the work we have been doing to help the Houston community recover from Hurricane Harvey. After more than a year of recovery efforts, Houston deserves resolution.
If you experienced flooding due to Hurricane Harvey and the Army Corp’s release of reservoir waters, call us today for a free consultation at (888) 400-2101.