A new analysis has found that Texas could face $3 billion in damage from storms and flooding in 2015. Records storms last year caused widespread water damage to homes, roadways, and other infrastructure in the Lone Star State, according to an analysis prepared by the disaster impact modeling firm Kinetic Analysis Corp.
Texas suffered two record storms in 2015 as a result of multiple storm systems that converged on the state, dumping inches of rain that flooded roads and private property. Hundreds of miles of Texas roadways ended up underwater as a result of the floods, which left them vulnerable to damage from soaking in standing water or strong currents. Thousands of homes in floodplain areas were also damaged in the storms, causing millions in water damage.
Kinetic’s $3 billion damage estimate was based on computer models that utilized data from reports from the National Weather Service, news reports, and insurance company data. The damages included $45 million from storms in May 2015 that caused flooding in Houston, $25 million for public infrastructure repairs, $4.5 million for water damage to buildings, and $15 million for storm and flooding cleanup.
FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, the only flood insurance option for many Texas regions, does not cover damage to roads or other public infrastructure, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for these repairs. The dozens of Texas counties that applied for disaster relief from the federal government to cover flooding damage from the 2015 storms face uncertainty over whether they can use these funds to address some of the most significant problems caused by the storms.
Chuck Watson, the director of research and development at Kinetic, says that many states in the southern U.S. broke several monthly rainfall records in 2015. “What was exceptional this year, in Texas and across the southeast, was how widespread the floods were,” Watson says. John Nielsen-Gammon, a climatologist for the state of Texas, says that 2015 will end up as the wettest year on record for many parts of North Texas.
Climate forecasters expect heavy rains in Texas to continue during 2016 as a result of El Nino, the recurring global weather pattern that often brings extra rain to the state. High rainfall levels in 2016 could mean that many Texas residents will be at risk of water damage to their home or property as a result of extreme weather events.
Texas Property Owners May Qualify to File a Water Damage Lawsuit
Although many cases of damage to private property are caused by storms or flooding, water damage can also occur due to the intentional diversion of water from the property of a neighbor or nearby business. The Texas Water Code contains specific rules regarding water damage to another person’s property caused by diverting or impounding water.
Although water damage may seem easy to identify, the process of proving that a neighbor or nearby property owner is responsible for this damage can be a complicated process. In order to prove that illegal water damage has occurred, numerous documents and pieces of evidence must be collected, including depositions from the parties involved in the dispute, documents regarding the properties in question, relevant insurance policies, and damage evaluations of the damages that have occurred.
If your home or property has suffered water damage as a result of wrongful actions on the part of a neighbor, nearby business, or property owner, you may qualify to file a lawsuit and seek compensation. The first step in taking legal action is to talk with a law firm that has the experience and knowledge to successfully handle lawsuits involving water damage in the State of Texas.
The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have years of experience in lawsuits involving commercial disputes, insurance claims, and other legal matters. In January 2015, our law firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of Texas homeowners whose property was damaged as a result of water damage and flooding caused by a neighboring landowner. Heygood, Orr & Pearson has represented other parties in disputes regarding water damage and diversion of water.
For a free legal consultation from an attorney and to find out whether you may be eligible to file a case, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following this link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few simple questions about your situation to get started.