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Howard County Hosts Public Meeting on Army Corps Evaluation of Ellicott City Flood Mitigation Plans

March 10, 2020

Media Contact:
Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers held a public meeting on Monday evening, where the Army Corps presented their review of the County’s flood mitigation plan for Ellicott City. The meeting can be viewed online here

“We appreciate the collaboration with the Army Corps of Engineers and are pleased that they affirmed that the projects included in our Ellicott City Safe and Sound Plan are effective measures for reducing flooding in Ellicott City,” said County Executive Calvin Ball. “Over the past year, we have made significant progress as we work to make Ellicott City a national model of resiliency while maintaining the town’s historic character and economic vitality.”

“The intent of this report was to act as a resource for Howard County and to assess the efficacy of the County’s plans to manage flooding in Ellicott City,” said Stacey Underwood, Army Corps, Baltimore District Flood Risk Program manager. “Howard County has already put in considerable effort in its evaluation of a wide array of options to reduce flooding.”

The Army Corps performed an independent, interagency, objective review of approximately 60 flood risk management alternatives, comprised of separate flood risk management measures, such as flood diversion tunnels, upstream storage, floodplain modification and culvert improvements. As part of the evaluation, the Corps also identified additional opportunities for flood risk management measures for the County to consider.

“The decision as to which projects will be implemented ultimately lies at the local government level; it is not the Army Corps’ role to make any formal recommendations to the County,” said Andy Layman, Baltimore District project manager. “We evaluated the County’s alternatives based on a number of criteria, including levels of flood reduction and construction cost and duration. Overall, the County’s current plan can significantly reduce flood risk to Historic Ellicott City.”

The evaluation included grouping the measures into tiers based on how they scored against the criteria. Feedback on the advantages, challenges and additional considerations for the top measures were also provided to the County.

In addition to the public meeting, the report and evaluation matrix is accessible online on the County’s EC Safe and Sound website (https://www.ecsafeandsound.org/reports).

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