Hurricane Harvey released a record-setting amount of rain onto the Houston area. With over 50 inches of rain falling on some areas of the city, it was impossible for the city to properly drain all of the runoff. For the Addicks and Barker reservoirs in west Houston, the rainfall proved to be too much. The dams holding back the water from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs were at risk of failing, so the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began releasing water from the reservoirs on Monday, August 28, 2017.
Unfortunately for thousands of homeowners downstream of the reservoirs, the releases completely flooded their homes. This area of Houston largely managed to escape the widespread flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, but the dam releases subsequently left these formerly dry homes buried deep under many feet of water. The homes downstream of the reservoir will be flooded for several more weeks as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues controlled releases of the reservoirs to relieve pressure on the dams.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was aware the decision to begin controlled releases would leave thousands of homes flooded for many weeks. While the flooding caused by controlled releases may be preferable to the potentially catastrophic damage from a dam failure, homeowners downstream of the reservoirs still have rights. Damages to homes flooded by the proactive releases of water fall under an individual’s Fifth Amendment rights.
Your Fifth Amendment Rights
Under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the federal government cannot take private land without properly compensating the property owner. Inverse condemnation occurs which land is taken without the proper notice or compensation. Because the dam releases from Addicks and Barker reservoirs have rendered thousands of homes uninhabitable, the government must compensate homeowners.
You Need To Contact A Lawyer
In order to receive compensation from the government for the condemnation of your home, you will need to partner with an experienced inverse condemnation lawyer. The Hurricane Harvey lawyers at Blizzard & Nabers LLP can go to work for you and pursue your claim so you can focus on more important matters. There is absolutely no upfront cost for working with us. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t owe us anything unless we help you recover compensation. If you have any questions about your claim or about your legal options, you can call us at 1-800-349-0127 or contact us online for a free consultation.