Pines Drainage Committee Working Toward Board Report

BERLIN – A drainage committee is once again evaluating stormwater issues in Ocean Pines.

A reiteration of the drainage committee that once operated under previous management is working to evaluate areas in the community with poor drainage. Ocean Pines Association General Manager John Bailey said the group was in the process of creating a report to present to the board of directors in July.

“We came up with over 40 different areas we want to address in a report on drainage,” Bailey said.

During last week’s regular meeting of the board, Bailey explained that the new “drainage working group” was made up of Ocean Pines Association employees, a few residents and a trio of Worcester County officials. Bailey said the group had met three times so far and that members were in the process of outlining the report that would eventually be presented to the board.

Bailey said the group was looking at a variety of different issues related to drainage. He said they were considering emergency situations, such as those experienced with the unusual amount of rainfall that occurred last week, as well as chronic problems, preventative maintenance and public education. Bailey said he envisioned a huge public education element regarding Pines drainage.

“What it’s supposed to do, what it’s designed to do, what it’s not designed to do and how we might get at some of our bigger problems,” he said.

Bailey said funding for drainage improvements would likely need to be worked into next year’s budget.

Worcester County Commissioner Jim Bunting, one of the three county officials on the committee, said in an interview this week he was happy to offer his help. Bunting, who’s licensed in stormwater management, said he’d been a member of the drainage committee that worked with Bob Thompson, the association’s previous general manager, and that group had made significant strides in drainage. He said they’d helped with drainage problems in the Pinehurst area as well as on Beauchamp Road.

“We did a lot,” he said.

Bunting said Worcester County employees Ryan Presock, who does stormwater management inspections for the county, and Bobby Shockley, who reviews stormwater management plans for the county, were also members of the re-created committee. Bunting said he was hopeful that residents with knowledge of stormwater management would also provide insight as the committee moved forward.

“The idea is instead of hiring a consultant there’s plenty of expertise out there,” he said.

Bunting said walks through the community immediately after rain events would play a key role in identifying problems.

“The only way you really figure out how to do anything is to see what it looks like after a storm event …,” he said. “We go out after storms and we look to see where the water’s standing and walk back and try to find the choke points and what the problem is.”

The committee’s next meeting is scheduled for June 12 at the Ocean Pines Public Works Department.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.