Change Addicks and Barker Reservoir Design
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We, the undersigned, petition Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn along with congressional representatives of the State of Texas to co-sponsor a bill that 1) bans the US Army Corps of Engineers from operating the Addicks or Barker Reservoir above the elevation of government-owned land and 2) compensates homeowners inside the Addicks and Barker reservoirs for whom they flooded when they retained water past the elevation of the government-owned land during Hurricane Harvey and 3) protects homeowners downstream when water is released. This deliberate act of retaining water on private land in August, 2017 (which was publicly confirmed by the ACOE and Harris County Flood Control in front of Congressman Poe on 9/21/2017) caused devastating physical damage and is a clear case of Inverse Condemnation - a violation of the homeowners' 5th amendment constitutional rights: "...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." Rather than hire private attorneys and have them receive the majority of the compensation owed to the homeowners, this petition aims to see that homeowners receive the full compensation due them. It is directed toward the attorneys hired to represent these homeowners in Congress when they elected them and paid them with tax money. The US Army Corps of Engineers has stated it will take an act of Congress to change the design of the reservoirs. The government operates these reservoirs beyond the point of the land that they own. They built the reservoirs and then sold much of the land inside of it to private developers who built and sold homes to private citizens. As a local realtor, I know that the material fact that these homes were INSIDE the reservoir was not disclosed to home buyers. In fact, homeowners were regularly and publicly misled by government officials to believe that their homes are BEHIND the reservoir rather than in it (even during the flood event). This is our petition: With all due respect, we ask Texas representatives of the US Congress to represent their constituents, acting sooner than later, so that families can recover the compensation due them, rebuild, and know that their private property will no longer be a part of the reservoir design. We request 1) compensation for damages due to inverse condemnation AND 2) that the maximum pool level of the reserviors not exceed the elevation of government-owned land. 3) We also request that the design include changes to protect downstream private property with responsible releases of the water.
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