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Nuisance Flooding in St. Mary's County

The Issue at hand:

In the past three years, Nuisance Flooding has been a routine occurrence in St. Mary's County, causing damage to properties and impacting quality of life for many of our residents. County resources have been taxed beyond capacity trying to keep up with this broad spread issue and our best estimates of the costs, and manpower, required to address these issues, even in a reactive mode, have been inadequate.

State Government has been attempting to set up programs and guidance to aid in this battle. The Coast Smart Council established in 2014 led to the issuance in 2018 of legislation to address Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding by, among other actions, requiring the Local jurisdictions to develop a plan to address Nuisance Flooding.

This planning effort is a step change forward over the previous requirements being addressed in the various Hazard Mitigation Plans in that it requires the plan to being factoring in future climatic conditions in these plans to address flooding issues.

The County Response:

The County is taking advantage of the enhanced 311 program recently introduced for the County to collect the necessary data to identify flooding areas independent of whether, or not there is a tidal influence. This expansion beyond the legislative imperative if felt to be necessary to properly identify the broader scope of problems facing our communities. You'll note in the plan itself that the first order collection of locations for evaluation are contained within the plan and are intended to be regularly updated.

In addition to actions specified in the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazards Mitigation Plan (MJHMP), the Nuisance Flood Plan (NFP) is intended to initiate activities which St. Mary's County will implement or consider implementing to mitigate the impacts of nuisance flooding.

These activities will support the areas of focus found in the MJHMP. They also support recommendations and actions from St. Mary's County's 2016 Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Adaptation Report and goals and strategies of the St. Mary's County Comprehensive Plan. The HMP plan is to be updated at least annually.

The County's 311 System is the cornerstone of our first action response as well as our source for plan and evaluation of flooding issues. Our Highways Department remains committed to responding to all calls related to highway drainage issues and our engineering staff will provide further analysis of underlying conditions that cause impacts beyond those maintenance actions.

Nation Wide Activity - Local

MyCoast: Maryland is a project of the Chesapeake & Coastal Service & Maryland Department of Natural Resources. This portal is intended to collect your pictures and data relating to flooding caused by precipitation or coastal events. Information collected through this site can be used to visualize the impacts of flood events; to enhance awareness among decision-makers and residents of Maryland and to encourage action to reduce flood risks. An iPhone/Android App is available with this program to allow you to submit your report. If you'd like a second chance at getting your issues seen and heard, please sign up and get involved.

It should be noted that the County does not currently monitor this site for immediate actions. A 311 report is still required to engage County response personnel.