Resort Working On Nuisance Flood Plan

OCEAN CITY – Resort officials will soon start gathering data for a new nuisance flooding plan.

On Wednesday, Bill Neville, the director of planning and community development, presented the Ocean City Green Team with a timeline for preparing a local plan on nuisance flooding.

“This is a quick summary of the requirement the state has applied to local jurisdictions,” he said. “Anyone who is subject to nuisance flooding is supposed to prepare a local plan of how to address it.”

Neville said the town has until October of 2020 to create the plan, which will be based on state guidelines.

“They have until October of this year to provide guidance to us,” he said.

In preparation for drafting the document, Neville said the town would be responsible for taking an inventory of known flood hazard areas, identifying flood thresholds and providing documentation of nuisance flood events and response activities.

“In the case of Ocean City, that work has already been done,” he said. “We just need to tap into it. … For us to put this plan together for the community, it’s pretty easy to do the three things they are asking us to do.”

Environmental Engineer Gail Blazer agreed.

“It seems like we have everything,” she said. “We just have to pull it all together under one umbrella.”

Neville said the plan would outline what the community can and should do to address nuisance flooding.

“That’s the task ahead,” he said. “We have a year and a half to work on this instead of racing to a solution.”

Neville noted, however, that Ocean City has already taken proactive measures – including beach replenishment programs, seawalls and dune systems – to prepare and protect the community from coastal hazards.

“These are all things you would put in your report to say what we should be doing, and Ocean City is out ahead of all of that,” he said. “I think it will be a positive report from the standpoint of where we’ve been in the past and what we can plan for moving forward.”

Neville said he would continue to update the committee. He also asked for the committee’s help in putting the report together.

“This is a narrow slice through the big picture,” he said. “The planning our emergency management put in place for the big storm event is still there and figured out, and we know how to manage our community in dry conditions. This is really about what you do when you have a foot of water during a heavy rain storm or the kind of events we are seeing at least once of year, where the communities are inconvenienced, but not necessarily damaged.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.