I attended a Baltimore County meeting this week regarding Roland Run Creek and its floodplain. It turns out my neighborhood, but not my house, is in the creek's one hundred year floodplain. According to a study done this year and contracted out by Baltimore County, if it rains 7.1 inches in a twenty-four hour period in our region, our neighborhood will be evacuated, and many homes will be flooded. Upon hearing this, many of my neighbors seemed resigned to the news--they've lived in the neighborhood for decades and saw this coming. There is a levee along the creek, but we were told it was never up to FEMA standards, and never will be (it would require money that nobody has and a change to road and bridge elevations that are impractical). That was news to me, and, it seemed, to many others.
In this meeting we were also given information about the recently passed Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. The Act will remove federal subsidies for flood insurance, among other things. Baltimore county's flood insurance is currently being subsidized by 38%. Flood insurance will cost more for my neighbors who have not already purchased it and now must.
When hurricane Sandy hit, it rained at least 7.1 inches in twenty-four hours in our area, but we all seemed to manage. I'm hoping that we can come up with creative ways to manage in the future.
Part of the reason I went to this meeting was to voice concern about the invasive plant species growing unchecked along Roland Run Creek. I was surprised to hear that invasives are of concern to the County even though they don't know what to do about them. I think they're best option at this point is to kill these plants using chemicals. After that, a stream restoration project seems like a viable next step to mitigating additional invasive damage and possibly flood damage as well.
Learning more in the near future.
Roland Run Creek on a sunny day.