A lieutenant in the Texas Army National Guard and his wife have filed a proposed class action lawsuit against the United States of America and the US Army Corps of Engineers over flood damage allegedly caused by the latter’s decision to initiate controlled storm water releases from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs in Houston during Hurricane Harvey. The plaintiffs say in their nine-page complaint that they and others in their area, by and large, escaped the initial landfall of the category-four storm with “minimal or no damage." They claim, however, that the areas around Buffalo Bayou suffered serious flooding after the controlled reservoir drains, which they argue the Corps initiated despite knowing full well “homeowners, schools, businesses and others would lose the use of their properties for a period of time as a result.” The complaint notes that many of the homes, businesses and schools damaged by the controlled storm water releases were outside of the 500-year flood plain, and thusly had no flood insurance to cover losses.
From the lawsuit:
“As a result of the United States’ intentional decision to release the storm water in light of the hazard it was deemed to pose, the plaintiffs and class members were flooded in order to reduce the risk to the retention structures, as well as Houston and the surrounding areas. The destruction of, substantial damage to and devaluation of residences, businesses, along with their contents and property, resulted from the defendants’ initial decision to use the land. The United State Constitution requires just compensation, which [the plaintiffs] and class members have not received.”