Flood panel releases report

January 31, 1997


Staff Writer

As library officials in Hancock unveiled their new floodproof home on Friday, the Western Maryland Flood Mitigation Task Force released its final report outlining ways to prevent future flood damage.

The task force, created after two major floods last year, reaffirmed preliminary recommendations that the American Legion Post in Funkstown and a Hancock sewer pumping station be floodproofed and that the Sharpsburg water intake pipe in the Potomac River be relocated to prevent future flood damage.

The report also recommended moving three Hancock Little League ballfields out of the 100-year floodplain.

The task force estimated the cost of floodproofing the Hancock sewer pumping station at $120,000.

Relocating the Sharpsburg water intake pipe was estimated at $400,000.

There was no cost estimate on floodproofing the Funkstown American Legion or moving the Hancock ballfields.

The task force also recommended looking for solutions to backwater flooding in Hancock caused by a dam created by a C&O Canal box culvert where the Little Tonoloway Creek joins the Potomac River.


The task force, appointed by Gov. Parris N. Glendening to minimize future flooding in Western Maryland after several floods last year, also recommended:

n Buying and removing, if the owners are willing, 308 structures in the 100-year and 500-year floodplain at an estimated cost of $13.2 million. The task force suggested that the federal government pick up 75 percent, the state 12.5 percent and the local county 12.5 percent of the acquisition costs.

Only $1.3 million in state money and $1.1 million in federal money is available to fund buyouts so far, the report noted. Washington County Commissioners told the task force that they couldn't afford to spend money on buyouts, but the task force said individuals could contribute the local match.

  • Immediately restoring flood-damaged streambeds and affected roads and utilities and removing debris from waterways.

    The Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been authorized to spend about $8.2 million, of which 25 percent is a local match, on repair and cleanup, the interim report said.

  • Amending the state's Comprehensive Flood Grant Management program to increase the state share of costs from 50 percent to 75 percent and reduce the local share to 25 percent. The program should be used for relocation costs and financial incentives to move floodplain residents.
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