Council Hears Mitigation Plan Progress Report

 OCEAN CITY – At a work session on Tuesday, the Mayor and Council received the annual report on the implementation of Ocean City’s hazard mitigation plan.

Planner Robert Nelson presented the Mayor and Council with the annual report, explaining that as a part of the Ocean City Hazard Mitigation Plan, an annual progress report is given each September to the Mayor and Council, prior to the annual Community Rating System (CRS) re-certification.

According to the plan, all property in Ocean City is in a flood hazard area where minor flooding is not an uncommon occurrence and where major flooding happens occasionally.

Nelson began by highlighting the current major implementation effort of having owners raise their heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment above the base flood level. HVAC’s must also be raised above the town’s additional elevation requirements. Nelson added that all new units are being placed above flood level.

Nelson explained that there is currently a flood insurance discount of 15 percent for flood insurance policies on properties in Ocean City.

According to Nelson, the city website also contributes to the effort by offering a variety of information through an article on flood protection. The article includes information on how to raise utilities to avoid damage from floodwaters. Nelson added that the article is also mailed to property owners twice a year.  The article also focuses on topics such as, flood zones and flood plains, Ocean City’s warning system, how to evacuate the city, property protection measures, and permit requirements for building in a flood plain.

The beach and dunes continue to be maintained and replenished on schedule Nelson said, adding that it is an ongoing effort for the town.

Storm water management was also mentioned in the progress report, noting that it is being used as a tool to mitigate the possibility of flooding. It was also noted that the hope is to continue to reduce flood damage through the administration and enforcement of storm water regulations.

Nelson acknowledged the Beach Walk Hotel on 10th Street, and it’s possibility of becoming Ocean City’s first project, if approved, to protect a privately-owned site using state funds.

Nelson explained that repetitive flood loss properties are also being targeted for flood mitigation projects, which could help reduce their future flood damage potential.

The Mayor and Council had no comments or objections to the progress report.