Couple demands money for flooded home after Harvey-related reservoir releases

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Homeowners say they should be compensated for the mess that happened when officials released massive amounts of floodwater from the Harris County reservoirs.

Val and Linda Aldreds have lived in their Thornwood home for 20 years.

Never before have they flooded.

"It's devastating," Linda said. "It's devastating to come home and see this."

They are among those who have filed separate state and federal lawsuits against the City of Houston, Harris County Flood Control District and the federal government.

While they're not placing blame, they do want to be compensated for the damage. They don't have flood insurance.

"I don't know what all we're gonna have to do," Linda said. "Every day it's something new."

The Aldreds say they were never told to evacuate, their subdivision never listed among those specifically being warned in the release.

According to what could become a massive class action suit they've initiated, the defendants "... intentionally released the water knowing additional homes and businesses would be flooded ...", "..they knew of the substantial risk..", and "..failed to take measures to prevent..." it --- despite development in the area near the reservoirs over decades.

"They're entitled to just compensation for the damage that was done to their property, and the loss of the use of that property due to the flood water," said Derek Potts, of Potts Law Firm.

The Aldreds put three kids though college in this house, and had just finished getting it fixed up the way they really wanted.

"No, this really shouldn't have happened," Val Aldred said.

Now they have to start over.

The federal suit states damages could be into the billions of dollars.

The county attorney's office would not answer our questions today regarding the lawsuits, saying they would respond in court on behalf of the flood control district.

The city of Houston says it was the Army Corps of Engineers that released the water, and that the city is not responsible. The Corps referred us to the Department of Justice for a response, which said only that it would review the complaint.

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