Tag: Rainfall

Reservoir Claim

Study Finds 100-Year Rain Events Will Strike Houston More Often

We use terms like “100-year events” to help understand the likelihood of certain weather events. However, they really only work if they’re accurate. According to new research, Houston needs to be prepared for more rain events. This is particularly concerning considering Houston has not been able to make much progress in flood mitigation in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

100-Year Rain Events

A 100-year rain event can be thought of in two ways: (1) the rain event on average would occur once every one hundred years or (2) the rain event has a 1% chance of happening every year. A 1% chance is pretty low, but according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Houston’s 100-year rain events are occurring more frequently.

A 100-year rain event can drop 13 inches of water in a 24-hour period. According to a study by NOAA, these events are closer to a 25-year event. This means that in any given year, there is a 25% chance a rain event will drop 13 inches of rain in 24 hours. Those chances are a lot worse.

The increase in rain events led the NOAA to redefine 100-year rain events for the Houston area – they are now defined by rainfall of up to 18 inches in 24 hours.

Hurricane Harvey Drops Unprecedented Rainfall

NOAA’s updating of 100-year flood events isn’t surprising for Texans who withstood Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. The National Hurricane Center determined the flooding brought on by Hurricane Harvey was greater than a 1,000-year event, the highest level that’s ever been calculated. Regardless of the odds, Hurricane Harvey happened and Houston – as well as the rest of Texas – wasn’t prepared.

Two of Houston’s reservoirs, the Addicks and Barker reservoirs, were unable to hold the rainfall dropped by Hurricane Harvey. Not only did these reservoirs fill nearly to full capacity, causing flooding of thousands of homes, but controlled releases were needed to prevent catastrophic dam failure which caused flooding downstream. Houstonians can expect future rain events to cause serious property damage and the city isn’t prepared.

Get Help With Your Reservoir Claim

Houston residents upstream and downstream of the reservoirs released in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey saw first hand how unprepared Houston was for a catastrophic rain event. If the Addicks or Barker reservoir flooded your home, contact Raizner Law today. We can help explain your legal options and pursue compensation.

Hurricane Damage Insurance Lawyers

Will We See More Storms Like Hurricane Harvey?

Hurricane Harvey was a unique storm. While the Gulf Coast is no stranger to catastrophic hurricanes, Harvey’s lasting legacy wasn’t in its Category 4 winds, but its relentless rainfall. And, according to a recent study, Texas could see more hurricanes like Harvey in the near future.

Hurricanes Are Slowing Down

Harvey was able to drop unprecedented amounts of rainfall because the storm stalled over Southeast Texas. According to a study published in the journal Nature, hurricanes are actually slowing down, meaning Texas could see more storms like Harvey. According to the study, tropical cyclones have decreased their speed by an average of 10% worldwide since 1949. That might not seem like much, but storms in the North Atlantic have actually slowed down more than the global average. North Atlantic storms like Harvey have decreased in speed by an average of 20%.

Slow Moving Storms

As witnessed with Harvey, slow moving storms can cause billions of dollars in damage. These storms are dropping more rainfall and causing more damage as they hover over areas for longer periods of time. For Houstonians, it’s hard to imagine Harvey’s unprecedented rainfall could become the new normal, but that might be the case.

Can Houston Withstand Another Storm Like Harvey?

Houston experienced widespread flooding during Hurricane Harvey and many of the reservoirs breached their banks. This was the case for the Addicks and Barker reservoirs. Homeowners in these areas had no idea their homes were located in dry reservoirs until they were flooded under many feet of water. The pressure behind the Addicks and Barker dams was so great, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had to begin controlled releases to prevent catastrophic failure of the dams. The controlled dam releases flooded thousands of Houston homes downstream and upstream of the reservoirs. Although Houston is investing money into flood mitigation, the 2018 hurricane season has already begun. Just one storm this season could drench Houston in Harvey-like rainfall.

Hurricane Damage Insurance Lawyers

Raizner Slania LLP is a local Houston law firm that helps Houstonians rebuild after hurricanes. Insurance companies are often dishonest when handling large claims, so by partnering with our hurricane damage insurance lawyers, you can be sure you will get the most out of your policy. If your insurance company has delayed, underpaid, or denied your Hurricane Harvey insurance claim, contact us today for a free consultation.

Insurance Attorneys

Southeastern Texas Sees Worst Rain Since Harvey

Many Texans were having flashbacks to Hurricane Harvey last week as they surveyed the damage caused by several days of significant rainfall. On June 19th, a slow moving storm drenched Southeastern Texas with the worst rainfall the area has seen since Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.

The slow moving storm was a recipe for disaster. The upper-level low-pressure system stalled over Texas, where it began interacting with widespread tropical moisture, which caused the torrential downpour. The storm dropped large amounts of rain ranging from five inches to 15 inches in some areas. Most of the rainfall fell along the Texas coast from its Southern border to approximately 125 miles south of Houston. The rain also hit the Beaumont-Port Arthur area particularly hard, with some property owners discovering six inches of floodwaters. Many Orange County residents had only recently moved back into their homes after Hurricane Harvey only to suffer flood damage again during this latest bout of storms.

Recovery after a storm like this can take many months. Unfortunately for property owners, dishonest insurance companies are reluctant to uphold their policies, thus slowing repairs down. Many companies use nuances in policies to try to wiggle their way out of paying claims, so it’s important for policyholders to understand some insurance jargon.

Wind Driven Rain vs. Storm Created Openings

There are two types of water damage created by rainfall: wind driven rain and storm created openings. While you might not think there is much of a difference between the two, the reality is that one of these types of damage is covered by insurance and the other is not. A storm created opening occurs when wind or other forces during a storm create an opening rainfall can then fall through. If wind rips off portions of your roof, siding or windows, a building’s interior will quickly become drenched. This type of damage is covered under your insurance policy. Wind driven rain occurs when an existing flaws in the building envelope allow rainwater to enter the interior of a building. This type of damage is not covered under your policy.

The difference between wind driven rain and storm created openings may seem obvious, but many insurance companies will wrongfully classify damage as wind driven rain to avoid paying out. Unfortunately, many policyholders don’t know any better. When an insurance company wrongfully denies claims, policyholders can hold them accountable by filing a lawsuit.

Insurance Attorneys For Southeastern Texas

Raizner Slania LLP is a local law firm that focuses on getting policyholders the most out of their policies. If your insurance company has delayed, underpaid, or denied your property damage claim, call us today to schedule a free consultation and learn your legal options.

cost of hurricane harvey

Hurricane Harvey Could Cost Billions of Dollars in Economic Losses

Although it has been several months since Hurricane Harvey struck, thousands of Texas are still struggling to put their lives back together. The storm caused massive amounts of damage along the Texas coast and around the Houston area. Although the total cost of damages caused by Harvey may never be known, some forecasters are predicting the cost of Hurricane Harvey could end up being billions in economic damages.

Hurricane Harvey was the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years, and parts of Houston received over 50 inches of rain. After the hurricane made landfall in late August, it displaced more than 1 million people and damaged hundreds of thousands of businesses. In all, Harvey’s path of destruction stretched for over 300 miles.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott estimated the total cost of damages caused by the storm ranges between $150 billion and $180 billion. This doesn’t take into account the long-term economic losses many businesses and homeowners will face. Businesses that have flooded cannot continue operation, resulting in lost revenue when they need it the most.

Unfortunately for homeowners, flood damage can have a permanent and damaging effect on home values. Many homeowners will have to pay tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to make their homes habitable again, but there’s no guarantee they will ever make their money back if they decide to sell. Small business owners, which form the economic engine of our state, also have a long road ahead as they struggle to repair property and make up for the business interruption sustained during Harvey. Investment owners of real estate are working to understand and quantify the diminution in value to their real estate assets.

1 in 1,000 Year Flood Event

The rainfall dropped by Hurricane Harvey was deemed a 1 in 1,000 year flood event. Any 1 in 1,000 year flood event only has a 0.1% chance of occurring in any given year. This means the rainfall caused by Harvey was truly unprecedented, and the sheer weight of the rainfall actually caused Houston to sink 2 centimeters in elevation.

What The Cost of Hurricane Harvey Means For Property Owners

Whenever there is widespread property damage, insurance companies and responsible parties will do everything in their power to limit liability and minimize claims. If you suffered damage as a result of Harvey, whether the Addicks and Barker dam releases flooded your property or if your property is located in the reservoirs’ floodplains, or if you are experiencing improper delays or denials from an insurance company contractually obligated to pay for this damage, you likely have many questions.

At Raizner Slania LLP, we can analyze your situation and help you understand your legal options. We have extensive experience with property claims and we are actively working with many Houstonians pursuing several different types of claims. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. There is no upfront cost for working with us. We work on a contingency fee basis so you will not owe us anything unless we help you recover compensation.