On Thursday, March 22, 2018, the New York Times published a powerful video story featuring one of our clients, Lisa Perez. Ms. Perez lives in Cinco Ranch Southpark, and her home was flooded by waters backing up from the Barker reservoir.
This story includes Judge Robert Hebert’s quote, referring to communities upstream of Addicks Barker: “Harvey didn’t flood them. The federal government flooded them.” Based on our work in this litigation, this statement is 100% true. The following information reported in this story is also true, based on our analysis:
- The federal government has known since 1940 that certain storms would flood thousands of upstream private properties (in fact, the reservoirs were designed to flood them); and
- The federal government could have purchased these properties, but chose not to, paving the way for the area to be fully developed with private residential homes.
Sadly, the story doesn’t end there. The federal government actually predicted in the days before peak flooding that over 15,000 private properties upstream of Addicks and Barker would flood due to the design and operation of those reservoirs, impacting almost 50,000 people. The government’s projection was correct, as this is precisely what happened as of August 30, 2017. Inexplicably, the federal government chose not to tell the public about its projections, robbing our community of any reasonable opportunity to at least save some valuable personal possessions before the destructive reservoir waters washed them all away forever.