Houstonians have been incredibly resilient in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. While the entire city is hoping a hurricane like Harvey won’t come around again any time soon, the reality is that another devastating storm is definitely possible. Unfortunately, development rules in the city are not as strong as they should be, meaning another storm could cause similar devastation to that seen as a result of Harvey.
Although the City of Houston and Harris County have made updates to rules regarding new development, these changes don’t go far enough. Two reports from the Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium looked at changes to regulations and determined the city needs to do more to better protect Houstonians.
The reports determined that rules regarding floodwater detention were flawed. The report stated current rules fail to incorrectly estimate the runoff of a site before it was developed, ignore the soil type and vegetation in an area, and don’t account for the volume of water that flows across an area. All this adds up to catastrophic flooding. Unfortunately, making additional changes will likely be very difficult. The real estate industry has opposed many of the regulation changes, claiming they will increase the cost of housing. Regardless of how regulations could change home prices, the government has a responsibility to protect people from such devastation.
Addicks and Barker Reservoirs
Much of the flooding that occurred after Hurricane Harvey in Houston was from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs. Homes upstream of the reservoirs were flooded because the city allowed developers to build homes inside retention areas. As the floodwaters rose, most homeowners in the area had no idea their homes were built on land designated to hold floodwaters.
Upstream Addicks and Barker Reservoir Lawsuits
Hopefully the City of Houston will implement stronger development rules before the next devastating hurricane hits. Unfortunately, current changes do little for the homes already destroyed by Harvey. Raizner Law is currently assisting homeowners with upstream Addicks and Barker reservoir lawsuits to get compensation for the destruction of their homes and the decreased value. If the Addicks and/or Barker reservoirs flooded your home, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our dedicated attorneys.