Unless you’ve been living in a very high cave for the past month, you know that “[i]t’s flooding down in Texas,” but for the most part our telephones lines are not down. All deference to the king of Texas rock, but if you’re like me, you’re probably getting a little tired of the rain. Now, people from the rest of the country may shake their heads at our state and claim we’re never satisfied; that there’s too much or too little water. However, given the recent tragic turn the flooding waters has taken in South Texas, it’s more important than ever to take what precautions you can, and remember the power nature can have to upend lives.
Texas weather is hard on people and property. In that vein, we are seeing an increase in weather and flood related questions. Many home owners are now making claims on their insurance if they had flood protection when the rains hit, or trying desperately to figure out how to do so if they didn’t. Many of them may be out of luck; flood and weather related insurance disputes can be complicated, but not insurmountable. What I’d like to talk about now though is overflow, or specifically, overflow by diversion. If it happens to you, it may be a way to get some relief for your flood damage.
In water law, overflow by diversion is covered under §11.086 of the Water Code. Basically, an adjacent landowner can’t build an obstruction or improvement that significantly alters the natural flow of surface water onto their neighbor’s property, thereby damaging it.
If you think this applies to. There are some things to consider.
- First, think about the timeline. Try and get a reasonable record or working idea of how water flowed across the property during heavy rains before the alteration was built.
- Second, get as clear a picture of your damages as you can, so that any negotiations can be faster and cheaper.
- Third, make sure you think about any Home Owner’s Associations, or Property Owner’s Associations if they signed off on the improvements.
- Fourth, don’t lose your composure when talking to adjusters or neighbors. You don’t want to sour relationships unless you have to.
Of course if you have questions, we’re happy to help out.