A Lawsuit Over Riverstone’s Vanished Levee

A LAWSUIT OVER RIVERSTONE’S VANISHED LEVEE More than 400 residents of Fort Bend County’s Riverstone development — between Hwy. 6 and the Brazos River — are suing the engineering firm that designed their stormwater systems, alleging that the design left one portion of the community flooded by the runoff from the other during Harvey. The roughly 3,700-acre area is divided into 2 Levee Improvement Districts — LID 19 (shaded blue on the map) and 15. “It became very clear when we passed into LID 15 that something was not right,” one LID 19 homeowner said in a press conference. “We were inundated with water in our neighborhood, and just on the other side of the street everything seemed to be perfectly fine.” Both LIDs were designed by Costello, Inc. the company founded by Houston’s flood czar Steve Costello. (He’s said he divested from it in 2015.) That firm’s failure to consider what would happen when a levee that ran between the 2 districts — along Hagerson Rd. — was removed is what downstreamers say is to blame for much of their soggy state. In total, reports the Chronicle’s Rebecca Elliott, about a third of the 1,760 homes in LID 19 flooded. [Houston Chronicle] Map of Riverstone LIDs 15 and 19: Riverstone LIDs

6 Comment

  • “”The stormwater management system was not designed to handle rainfall amounts that should have been reasonably anticipated. The lawsuit also claims that the 34 inches of rain Harvey dumped on Riverstone was not unprecedented, citing higher rainfall totals during three prior storms.”
    Good luck, but just be careful what you wish for in expecting everything to be designed to withstand Harvey-sized storms. Someone will have to pay for it, not something Houstonians have ever been keen to do. I don’t follow the logic on higher isolated rainfall amounts being in any way shape or form comparable to flooding from a Harvey sized event, but surely someone has looked through the design reports before shelling out for lawyers.

  • Who is Levy?

  • More dumb people who want to blame everyone but themselves for choosing to live next to a major river that floods.

  • Htown: Huh? Do you mean ‘levee’ as stated in the story or did I miss something?

  • @Htown

    They’re mostly in Meyerland…. isn’t that ironic?

    [I] It’s like raaaaaiiiinnn on your wedding day…. [/i]

    Double points!

  • so, this case is misguided. the levee held and functioned as planned. it turns out there were too few pumps to pump water out of the neighborhood and over the levee. the bathtub filled up too quickly. some of that may be related to upstream issues. the development has survived the tax day floods just fine, so it was built beyond the 100 year flood level. i am fairly sure the LID has since put in more pumps. i suppose you could fault the LID for not having put in more pumps earlier, but it all comes down to rainfall models they rely on that, I would assume, are provided by NWS. in other words, you don’t know what you don’t know until it is too late.