Essay about Carvin vs. Arkansa Power and Light
14 F.3d 399, 1993 U.S. Court of Appeals for Eighth Circuit
You be the Judge
By: Jenny Wagner
December 23, 2009
Did the easement relieve Arkansas Power and Lights from liability for flooding? Yes, Arkansas Power and Light should not be held liable for damage to property cased by flooding where an easement existed.
In 1923-1947 Arkansas Power and Light (AP&L) constructed several dams on two Arkansas lakes, Hamilton and Catherine. AP & L obtained “flood easements” on property adjoining the lakes. AP&L sold lake side property and kept the easement in force. These flood easements permitted AP&L to “clear of trees, brush, and other obstruction and to submerge by …show more content…
The flooded property owners also claimed that AP&L was negligent for failing to warn them of the intended action to flood Lake Catherine, causing unnecessary damage. Arkansas Power and Light’s easement was to store excess water in emergency conditions. Emergency conditions could be construed, in May of 1990, by 10 inches of rain falling in a 12 hour period, the heaviest recorded in at least the last 63 years, which caused water levels to reach the highest levels ever recorded. AP&L can not be held negligent for doing exactly what the easement was intended for, storing excess water. Property owners were aware of the easement and subsequently warned of the possibility flooding might occur; the original reason AP&L maintained the easement when it sold the lake shore property.
Arkansas Power and Light should not be held liable as they exercised their easement to flood Lake Catherine, in an area that property owners were aware of an easement and the possibility of flooding, to minimizing possibility of more extensive damage to other areas during emergency conditions. When AP&L opened the flood gates, during the heaviest rains experienced since the dam was built, resulting in flooding the property on the shores of Lake Catherine, AP&L was exercising there rights, retained by the documents, creating property interests, which expressly created in AP&L,