Federal judge awards compensation for Hurricane Harvey victims upstream from Addicks, Barker dams

The awards could reach $1.67 Billion for Harvey flood victims

HOUSTON – The Barker and Addicks dams were designed by the Army Corps of Engineers to protect properties downstream, but during Hurricane Harvey, property owners upstream said the dams caused them to take a hit. A federal judge agreed and said they’re entitled to compensation.

More than five years later, memories of the storm-ravaging communities upstream from the reservoirs are still vivid in minds of homeowners like Scott Farris.

“We took the airboat right out of the neighborhood and straight up Mason road,” Farris said.

Farris’ neighbor Patricia Dillon was also greatly impacted.

“The water started moving up the driveway, but then it stopped and I said, ‘Oh we’re good! It started to recede.’”

But soon after that, like many others in her area, Dillon found herself in too deep.

“I’m back here up on a stool screaming for a boat to come save us,” Dillon said.

An estimated 10,000 properties upstream were said to have sustained damage because the properties were in the flood pool of the dams.

“When they had to with, Harvey store more water than they had prior, they had to put that water somewhere. So the government detained that water held inside the dams and put that water in these people’s private property,” said Daniel Charest, who is lead counsel for litigation that Farris and Dillon are a part of.

A federal judge ruled that total compensation for those 10,000 upstream property owners could reach or exceed $1.7 billion before interest.

“I do think we should be compensated,” Farris said.

“I’m not going to hold my breath. If I get anything, it’s more than I would have, so I’m very thankful to be part of that,” Dillon said.

Charest says upstream property owners who feel they are entitled to compensation should file a claim before the six-year statute of limitations passes which will be in August of 2023.

For more information, visit insideaddicksbarker.com.

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