River authority's post-Harvey actions unleash flood of litigation

By John Suayan | May 16, 2018

HOUSTON – A local conservation and reclamation district has been brought to court after it allegedly released water into numerous residences within its jurisdiction last year following a hurricane.

Lawsuits filed against the San Jacinto River Authority in Harris County District Court in early May claim the defendant knew of the “devastating flooding downstream” with “catastrophic consequences” resulting from its decision to unleash water from Hurricane Harvey into the plaintiffs’ homes yet proceeded with the act.

The litigation includes many residents from the north Houston suburb of Kingwood who were owners or leasers of property some 30 miles downstream from Lake Conroe, near the West Fork of the San Jacinto River.

“The SJRA’s intentional, knowing, affirmative and conscious decision or decisions to conserve and then release lake water between late August 2017 and early September 2017 intentionally, knowingly, affirmatively and consciously inundated and flooded the West Fork and many properties downstream of the dam, including the plaintiffs’ property,” court documents say.

Consequently, the complainants seek unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

They are represented by the law firms of Locke Lord LLP in Houston and Dawson & Sodd LLP in Dallas.

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