Trial to determine if government liable for Harvey flooding

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 28: People walk down a flooded street as they evacuate their homes after the area was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi late Friday evening, is expected to dump upwards to 40 inches of rain in Texas over the next couple of days. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A trial has begun to determine if residents can be compensated after their homes and businesses were flooded by two reservoirs during Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

The two-week trial in Houston federal court, which started Monday, is focusing on 13 flooded properties serving as test cases to determine whether the federal government would be liable for damages.

Residents allege their properties became storage facilities used by the federal government to hold water from the two dams run by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Lawyers for the U.S. Department of Justice, representing the federal government, say flooding from a storm of Harvey’s size was “inevitable.”

Harvey caused an estimated $125 billion in damage in Texas and flooded thousands of Houston-area homes.