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HOUSTON, TX – AUGUST 30: Flooded homes are shown near the Barker reservoir following Hurricane Harvey August 30, 2017, in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

(Bloomberg) — The U.S. government may be on the hook for as much as $1 billion after a federal judge found it responsible for the flooding of thousands of homes and businesses in Houston during Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

U.S. District Judge Charles F. Lettow in Washington ruled Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, that the government failed to buy enough land to hold water that engineers knew could accumulate in a pair of reservoirs during a record-breaking storm, making it liable for the flood-related damage.

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