Water, Water Everywhere.
Harvey (the Jimmy Stewart movie) involves a pleasant-but-addled fellow named Elwood P. Dowd and his invisible friend, a six-foot-tall rabbit named Harvey. The flic is among my favorites.
The hurricane/tropical storm by the same name is in nowise my favorite anything. While Harvey’s three landfalls resulted in impressive destruction, the downpours generated by his slow waltz across Texas were the worst part of his visit.
Depending on where the heavy storm bands played out their mischief, more than a year’s worth of rain poured down on many areas. Storm drains were overwhelmed and sewer lines backed up into the structures they served. All that effluent flowed thence to join with the wash-out from heritage and active toxic waste sites.
After the first sprinkles rinse out air pollution, rain is pure distilled water. Save for a few natural horrors, most of the vile, smelly stew that covered the land flowed from the fouling of our own nest.
If this malodorous mélange were not enough, the flood slurry includes the horror of cholera and flesh-eating bacteria. And then there are the alligators and floating rafts of displaced fire ants. Yikes!
At ten pounds per gallon, water is heavy stuff. Estimates put the volume of Harvey’s slow rain on Texas at the equivalent of ten San Francisco Bays. For a time, Harris County reverted to an inland sea.
The increase in water weight scrunched the earth’s crust down a full two centimeters. As Texans, shrinkage is contrary to our nature, but this comes from mistaking size with stature.
A number of vehicle owners whose conveyances were violated by Harvey’s flood waters were shocked to discover that the basic bare-bones state-required policy offers no coverage for such rude baptisms.
Savvy agents would not fail to warn their insureds against the folly and expense of such false economy. Nor would the wise agent fail to proffer documentation that comprehensive coverage was offered and declined by the insured as affirmed by insured-acknowledged forms appended to the file.
Dodge the bullet of misunderstanding, and the blame of E&O claims can also be avoided.
Only a Matter of (Not Much) Time
We knew it was coming, and it didn’t take long.
Potts Law Firm, Houston, filed a class action in Harris County to represent individuals and businesses affected by the San Jacinto River Authority’s “controlled release” of water from Lake Conroe on Aug. 27. As a result of the release, it is estimated that thousands of homeowners’ and business owners’ properties were flooded that had previously escaped inundation from Hurricane Harvey itself.
Got to give it to the Plaintiff’s Bar for being quick on its feet. — G.E.H.