OCEAN CITY- Last week’s Nor’easter made many parts of Ocean City look a bit more like the waterways that it neighbors as flooding became an issue once again in the resort.
After five straight days of steady rain last week, the downtown area of Ocean City, and several parts of mid-town flooded as per usual, prompting town officials to remind the public that when that much rain falls, flooding is almost inevitable.
“The area normally effected by the flooding is low in elevation (street grade wise) in comparison to the balance of the island as you progress north,” said Public Works Director Hal Adkins. “Much of the water is not rainfall-related at all and in fact was back flow through the storm drainage system. When faced with low ground elevations the storm drain pipes themselves are barely above the bay levels and in some cases are partially submerged.”
Rainfall may not have been the only factor in the flooding as tide levels also played a part, which caused several people throughout the town to call last week’s flooding the result of a near “perfect storm.”
“I think on Saturday morning the bay was on this side of Philadelphia Avenue, and I saw cars with water up past their doors,” said Blaine Smith at Tuesday’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. “It’s probably only the third or fourth time I’ve seen it come across Philadelphia Avenue since I’ve been here in 24 years.”
The lot leading to the entrance of Seacrets nightclub on 49th street was almost completely submerged and resembled a large moat surrounding a castle. Flood waters also reportedly made it’s way literally into the front door of the 65th street Public Safety Building.
Traffic was limited down to one lane going out of Ocean City onto Route 50 for much of Saturday, according to sources.
Adkins said that whether it was a perfect storm or not, his main concerns were what happens after the water recedes.
“Whether it was a Nor’easter or a lunar event, the water level rise back flows into the piping system and overflows into the streets,” said Adkins. “My main concern about repetitive flooding is not the flooding itself per se, but more so the accelerated degradation of the roadway surfaces and the associated sub base.”