Houston Area Sues San Jacinto River Authority

Sept. 22, 2017
Residents, businesses blame SJRA for flooding

Potts Law Firm filed a class-action lawsuit against the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA), representing residents and businesses in Kingwood, Texas. Allegedly, after Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area, the SJRA facilitated a controlled release from the Lake Conroe dam Aug. 27, which, according to locals, flooded properties that were otherwise unaffected by Hurricane Harvey flooding.

According to an Aug. 28 press release from the SJRA, the peak water level during the storm was 206.24 ft above mean sea level. The amount of water flowing into Lake Conroe was 130,000 cu ft per second, and the release rate from the Lake Conroe dam Aug. 28 was 79,100 cu ft per second. SJRA explains that this data demonstrates the dam’s ability to "buffer" the peak flow that may have caused additional flooding. Thus, according to SJRA, the dam's controlled release "reduced the severity" of the flooding, rather than augmenting it. In addition, it says the water from Lake Conroe is a small portion of water flowing into Lake Houston. SJRA released a video describing these points.

According to FOX, nearly 5,000 homes in Kingwood flooded. Despite SJRA's response, businesses and homeowners allege that they would not have experienced severe flooding after Harvey had the SJRA not faciltated a controlled release. They demand compensation from the state for the flood damages.