It’s been nearly a year since Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston and the rest of the Texas coast, and many are still recovering While all hurricanes cause significant damage, Harvey was particularly unique in that the storm stalled soon after it made landfall and dropped an unprecedented amount of rainfall. The Harris County Flood Control District has been working to collect and analyze data and recently released its final report on flood damage.
From August 25 through August 29, 2017, Hurricane Harvey dropped between 26 and 47 inches of rain across Harris County. This represents a trillion gallons of water. If you’re wondering just how much a trillion gallons of water is, it’s enough water to run Niagara Falls for 15 whole days.
According to the Harris County Flood Control District, this much water flooded 154,170 homes across Harris County, which is about 9% to 12% of the total number of buildings in the entire county. This number is particularly devastating considering nearly half of all of the homes flooded were outside of both the 100 and 500 year floodplains. After unprecedented rainfall, Hurricane Harvey ended up being the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history, right behind Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
With such large amounts of rainfall during and after Hurricane Harvey, Houston’s reservoirs and bayous quickly filled up and started flooding. In particular, the Addicks and Barker reservoirs caused catastrophic flooding to homes and businesses both upstream and downstream of the reservoirs. Property owners upstream of these reservoirs had no idea they were located in Addicks and Barker dry reservoirs and were shocked to learn land developers built homes in these dangerous areas. Properties downstream of the reservoirs also suffered serious flooding when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decided to begin controlled dam releases to reduce the amount of pressure on the dams and prevent total failure.
Still Recovering After Hurricane Harvey
It’s going to take several more years for Houston to completely recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey. Raizner Slania LLP is a local Houston law firm helping Hurricane Harvey victims with a wide variety of claims. If your insurance company is denying your Hurricane Harvey property damage claim, or if your property was flooded by the reservoirs, contact us today to learn your legal options.