Judge: Army Corps not responsible for Harvey flooding damage

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FILE – In this Aug. 29, 2017, file photo, water from Addicks Reservoir flows into neighborhoods from floodwaters brought on by Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston. A federal judge ruled the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was not liable for damages to thousands of Houston homes that were inundated by two federally owned reservoirs in the days following Hurricane Harvey because they would have flooded regardless. U.S. Judge Loren A. Smith of the Court of Federal Claims dismissed the case on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

HOUSTON (AP) – A federal judge ruled the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was not liable for damages to thousands of Houston homes that were inundated by two federally owned reservoirs in the days following Hurricane Harvey because they would have flooded regardless.

U.S. Judge Loren A. Smith of the Court of Federal Claims dismissed the case on Tuesday. Smith says property owners downstream of the dams, called Addicks and Barker, had no grounds to sue the government for flooding their land given Harvey’s unprecedented nature.

Smith’s decision comes after another judge determined the Army Corps was liable for damage caused to upstream properties.

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