Nuisance Flooding Report Headed To Council For Review

OCEAN CITY – A report on nuisance flooding will move forward to the Mayor and Council with a favorable recommendation from a resort committee.

On Wednesday, the Ocean City Coastal Resources Legislative Committee (Green Team) agreed to forward a nuisance flooding report to the Mayor and Council with a favorable recommendation.

“I think we’ve got a clean document that’s ready to present to the Mayor and City Council on Sept. 21,” Planning and Community Development Director Bill Neville told committee members this week. “This is a chance for the Green Team to weigh in on it and make a recommendation up to the Council level if you’d like to do that today.”

Neville said the report – which took roughly a year to draft – was a requirement of the state. He noted the document outlines what the town can do to address nuisance flooding, or flooding that causes public inconveniences such as road closures or overwhelmed storm drains.

“Nuisance flooding is the new state and federal outreach to communities to address climate change and sea level rise,” he said. “This is my personal opinion, it’s not written down anywhere. But basically, it’s easier for people to understand what’s happening every day than it is to try and anticipate what will happen 30 or 50 years from now. It’s a good thing. It gets everyone involved in paying attention to what’s going on around them and making decisions for the long term.”

Last year, resort officials started gathering data and formulating a plan to protect the community from future flooding events. At the time, Neville noted the town had already taken several proactive measures, including beach replenishment programs, seawalls and dune systems.

“The conclusion of the report is that Ocean City is already in Stage 1 in terms of our response,” he told committee members this week. “We are actively pursuing the top 10 mitigation measures that other communities around the country have identified. So I think we’re in good shape in terms of how we responded.”

Neville said the report will be submitted to various state agencies after its presentation to the Mayor and Council. He noted he also plans to add the report to the town’s website, where residents can view the document and the digital tools used to collect information on flood events.

“I just didn’t want it to be a black and white document on the shelf,” he said.

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.