Governor Larry Hogan Announces Over $1 Million Awarded for Stormwater Drainage System in Ellicott City
Howard County Residents, Businesses to Benefit from Multiyear Project Developed by State and County
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Hogan today announced that Maryland, in collaboration with Howard County, has been awarded $1,044,224 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fund a project that will reduce the flood risk of areas surrounding Main Street in Ellicott City, Md.
On July 30, 2016, a massive flooding event affected low-lying areas of the Jones Falls and Patapsco valleys. The powerful storm was considered to be a “one-in-1000” year event, and it caused significant damage to the historic downtown area of Ellicott City and devastated businesses and homes. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced the grant award today during his public State Cabinet Meeting held in Howard County.
“This is another important step in the rebirth of downtown Ellicott City,” said Governor Hogan. “I want to thank FEMA and MEMA for playing a key role in securing funding for this project which will reduce the risk of future flood damage. We will continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners to help Howard County recover and thrive.”
The project will improve a culvert near Main Street. The storm drainage network will also be improved. The project’s main goal is to reduce flooding in the area and decrease flood risk of property owners. Howard County will coordinate the project and provide $400,000 in additional local funds.
“Since the July 2016 flood, the residents, businesses, and property owners have shown tremendous resilience and resolve. More than 96% of the businesses are back and more than 20 new businesses have joined the Main Street community,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “We continue to attack the flooding issue by increasing stormwater retention, improving downstream conveyance, and providing floodproofing options and programs to the community. This grant will help us resolve a major trouble spot in Ellicott City’s West End.”
“Receiving this grant highlights two important principles of emergency preparedness for our State,” said MEMA’s Executive Director Russ Strickland. “The first is the continuous implementation of projects aimed at reducing the loss of life and property during disasters. The second is the leadership role that MEMA plays in facilitating access to the funding needed to accomplish risk reduction for and along with our local partners.”
MEMA’s hazard mitigation program aims to reduce or eliminate risks of disasters throughout the State. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, the 2016 Ellicott City flood was at least the 9th “one-in-1000” year rain event in the U.S. since 2010. The flood was also the 3rd “one-in-1000” year rain event in 2016. Preparedness, resilience, and risk mitigation are as important to Maryland citizens and MEMA as the actions citizens take during a natural disaster or major emergency.
Through mitigation planning and project implementation, MEMA is able to assist communities in becoming more resilient and better prepared. The Howard County culvert improvement project is an example of how disaster risk reduction grants aim to prepare Maryland communities with subject matter experts, tools, and skills required to reduce risk and build back stronger in the event of a major disaster or emergency.