If your home, business or commercial property was flooded after San Jacinto River Authority’s (SRJA) decision to release 79,141 cubic feet/second of water—or greater than 500,000 gallons/second through the Lake Conroe Dam—you may be entitled to just compensation.
The affected San Jacinto River/Lake Conroe affected areas include:
According to SJRA’s “Estimated Peak Water Flows: Tropical Storm Harvey” (August 25-29, 2017), the normal flow of water released from the Lake Conroe Dam is approximately 2,700 cubic feet/second. At the height of Tropical Storm Harvey, the inflows of water reached 130,000cubic feet/second.
After SJRA’s decision to release water exceeding 1994 flood estimates by more than 200 percent, severe flooding was an almost immediate result. According to the Montgomery County Commissioners Court (September 1, 2017), more than 8,000 properties were lost in the flood.
Although some lawmakers have called for the establishment of a flood control district, the San Jacinto River District is just that. SJRA is a Texas state agency. In June 2017:
SJRA was established by the 1937 Texas Legislature as “the San Jacinto River Conservation & Reclamation District.” In 1951, the name was changed to the San Jacinto River Authority. It services thousands of ranches, farms, and other businesses.
Lawmakers concluded that SJRA should’ve had early warning capabilities in place years ago. In fact, the SJRA decided against implementing an early warning system recommended in 1992.
SJRA failed to dredge Lake Conroe and appears to have put its own interests (and interests of owners upstream) above those of others in Greater Houston.
Damages caused by the flooding of the Addicks & Barker reservoirs’ release may include just compensation for:
If your home or business was flooded, you may be able to recover just compensation from the federal government by filing an inverse condemnation claim. If you didn’t have in-force flood insurance when your property or business was flooded, it may be unnecessary to process an inverse condemnation proceeding.
An inverse condemnation proceeding doesn’t mean that SJRA acted inappropriately or improperly (although they might have – refer to the above details). Rather, SJRA made the decision to flood homes and businesses for a valid reason.
However, when the government effects damage or seizes (takes) property, it is required to pay the property owner just compensation:
Thousands of property owners lost the use and benefit of their properties as a consequence of the SJRA’s decisions.
If your home or business was damaged or lost due to floods caused by the San Jacinto River Authority, contact an experienced inverse condemnation claims attorney.
Our firm has many years of experience in helping homeowners and businesses’ file inverse condemnation proceedings. We will protect your legal rights to just compensation under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.