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Officials announce 5-year plan to mitigate future Ellicott City flooding

Posted at 7:08 PM, Aug 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-23 22:47:06-04

A strategy is announced to mitigate flooding in Ellicott City.

On Thursday, Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman and Councilman Jon Weinstein released details of a five-year plan, including key components that would address the town's lower Main Street within a year.

Part of the initiative would have the County acquire and remove 10 buildings on the south side of Main Street, allowing for the creation of a public open space amenity with a wider, deeper river channel in their place. The community will be encouraged to provide input into the design and use of the public space.

Additionally, at least two culverts, 10-feet in diameter are expected to be installed beneath Maryland Avenue to carry water from the Tiber-Hudson branches further downstream into the Patapsco River. Officials also hope to widen the Hudson Branch channel under Main Street near Court Avenue, eliminating the threat of a significant pinch point that results in large amounts of water flowing onto upper Main Street during heavy rainfall.

In order to expand the stream channels, upstream floodwater facilities would be constructed, including a 13-acre-foot retention pond along the US 29/40 interchange and a 10-acre-foot retention pond on Rogers Avenue.

Other parts of the town are expected to be addressed as well. Seven residential properties in the city's west end could be acquired and removed. County officials are also in talks with members of the Valley Mede community, on how to move forward in protecting them from future flood damage.

Overall, five percent of the entire historic district would be acquired and removed under the plan. A four-member advisory group has been assembled to identify historical features that could be preserved and reused.

The plan is estimated to cost around $40-$50 million. Flood damage from 2016 and 2018 has reached nearly $32 million.