Hurricane Harvey Claims
Hurricane Harvey caused widespread and catastrophic losses along the Gulf Coast region. The storm resulted in the deaths of over 60 people, and devastated thousands of homes and properties in Texas and Louisiana. Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city, experienced record-setting flooding.
Early estimates of the damage caused by Harvey suggest it could reach $160 billion in losses. This would make Harvey the costliest storm to ever hit the United States.
Individuals who have experienced property damage as a result of rainfall or flooding should be aware of their legal rights in order to ensure they are properly compensated for their losses.
Thousands of businesses and families are now dealing with the damage and destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey. Many will have to fight with their insurance companies over losses to their homes or commercial property. Businesses may have to fight in order to recover business income losses.
Despite policyholders having paid premiums for years, many insurance carriers will take a combative approach and attempt to limit the value of claims. It is not uncommon following hurricanes to see insurance companies pay half or even less what it costs to rebuild damaged homes and businesses.
Reservoir Release Claims
Some of the most extensive flooding damage in Houston and Katy occurred along Buffalo Bayou. Countless homes that did not flood as a result of Harvey’s rainfall experienced destructive flooding because of the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to release water from the Barker and Addicks reservoirs. This marked the first time that officials have ever released water from the reservoirs while it was still raining.
Despite 20 years’ worth of reports regarding the potential of catastrophic flooding arising out of the Harris County reservoir system, improvements failed to be made. The inability to drain the Addicks and Barker reservoirs in an efficient manner has been widely known.
Home and business owners who have been impacted by the reservoir release have potential claims. Property that has been flooded by the Army Corps of Engineers was effectively condemned by waters in the flooded Buffalo Bayou.
When the government takes private property for public use without any formal process of a condemnation proceeding, a property owner may have a potential claim for inverse condemnation. Even if the federal government has done nothing wrong in releasing the water, property owners may still be entitled to compensation for their loss.
The decision to release water doomed dozens of neighborhoods bordering the reservoirs to flooding. Neighborhoods located near Buffalo Bayou also experienced substantial flooding following the reservoir releases.
Spagnoletti Law Firm has wide experience in complex litigation of all kinds. The experienced attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one has suffered a loss due to damage from Hurricane Harvey. There are strict and short time limits on making insurance-related claims, so please contact us to learn about your legal rights.