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Countywide Flood Damage Reduction Strategies

Flood Study Findings

The multi-agency Stormwater Management Technical Group has completed a 15-year study effort to define the extent of the major flooding problems in the county. The study shows that approximately 4,000 structures are flood prone in a 100-year storm event. Much of the flooding is concentrated in the older, highly-urbanized inner beltway communities targeted for revitalization.

Countywide Comprehensive Flood Damage Reduction Strategy

With the identification of these major flooding problems, the county is faced with the dilemma of how to protect public safety and welfare and, at the same time, continue to maintain an acceptable level of traditional services at a reasonable cost. The 3,000 residential flooding problems could require more than $100 million dollars and decades to correct. The county’s strategy to address flood conditions include:

  • Develop a long-term flood reduction program for the county
  • Evaluating flood mitigation alternatives
  • Performing a preliminary design of the solutions for those major problem areas
  • Recommending the most suitable flood mitigation alternatives
  • Seeking federal and state grants for project construction

A public education program, flood warning systems, and flood proofing and acquisition of the most severely flood prone homes are also potential options for reducing flood damage. Design work will also proceed on the most severely effected flooding areas.

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Flood Damage Reduction

As part of a flood damage reduction effort, funding is appropriated in the Capital Improvement Project (CIP) budget to conduct planning and design for flood mitigation projects. Implementation of projects is subject to availability of funding. Projects are undertaken to solve isolated and sever residential flooding problems and to solve the most severe flooding problems.

A priority system was developed based on depth and frequency of flooding and number of flood prone structures within a geographic area. The 10 highest priority problems to be addressed first are shown below. These projects account for approximately 50% of the total number of flood prone structures countywide:

  • Anacostia Levee Improvements: Priority areas 1, 4, and 6 - protects approximately 300 structures
  • Northeast Branch - East West Highway: Priority area 2 - protects 191 structures
  • Northeast Branch - Bladensburg: Priority area 3 - protects 58 structures
  • Oxon Run - Forest Heights: Priority area 5 - protects 43 structures
  • Beaverdam - Landover: Priority area 7 - protects 40 structures
  • Paint Branch - Cherry Hill Road: Priority area 8 - protects 18 structures
  • Indian Creek - U.S. Route 1: Priority area 9 - protects 29 structures
  • Northwest Branch - East West Highway: Priority area 10 - protects 92 structures

Hazard Mitigation Plan

The Hazard Mitigation Plan sets the stage for Prince George’s County, the City of Laurel, and the other incorporated municipalities to continue to address long-term disaster resistance through identification of actions that will, over time, continue to reduce the exposure of people and property to natural hazards.

Since the adoption of the 2010 Prince George’s County and City of Laurel Hazard Mitigation Plan, several flood-related action items have been undertaken. A summary of mitigation actions which the County has taken to address flood hazards is provided in the status report entitled Status of High Priority Mitigation Actions to Address Flood Hazards – Annual Evaluation Report. A link to this report is provided below.

The status report outlines the County’s activities, accomplishments and progress on those action items, which are related to flood management, in the Hazard Mitigation Plan. The six flood-related action areas that are reviewed include:

  • Partnering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to update the flood hazard mapping;
  • Conducting flood audits of selected buildings;
  • Assessing the Anacostia River levee improvements;
  • Developing protection measures for sites with hazardous materials and/or pollutants in flood hazard areas;
  • Expanding flood warning notifications
  • Coordinating the Building Code and Floodplain Ordinance

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