Wicomico to study neighborhood flooding

As plans continue to resolve flooding problems across Wicomico County, the County Council this week directed Public Works Director Dallas Baker to determine the cost of a feasibility study examining the situation.

The council decided the study is needed after Baker, meeting with them at the Tuesday meeting to update progress made on stormwater drainage, showed members photographs of Pratt Road, where a culvert was removed to reduce flooding woes.

Council President John Cannon asked about other concerns, including stormwater that will flow to the Nithsdale area and how it will be addressed.

Baker said a feasibility study was discussed earlier, but the Council didn’t want it, so he didn’t proceed, although it is still his recommendation.

Cannon recalled the council approving a study. Councilman Matt Holloway said he remembered discussion about county officials not liking certain studies, including one completed at a ball field.

“The message to me was clear —  don’t do the feasibility study,” Baker said. Cannon asked if it could be done in-house, but Baker said he only has one engineer on staff.

“How are you going to plan for the future?” Cannon asked.

“For that, I need a drainage feasibility study. I need a consultant to take a look and report back to me saying, ‘Here’s the most cost-effective work you can do to resolve the issue.’ I need the report to tell me what the options are. The direction I understood was, start with Pratt Road,” Baker said.

Cannon said the plan shouldn’t be done in a piecemeal fashion.

Baker said the cost to write a grant proposal to study Pratt Road is $3,500, and that amount is part of the $15,000 cost to complete the study.

“We can’t stop there … you know the people on the East Side are very concerned about this,” Councilman Larry Dodd said.

“Everybody is,” Baker said.

Public Works has also looked at drainage pipes on South Kaywood Drive, where water backed up in neighborhood creeks, Baker said.

The private, corrugated pipes that run behind Kaywood Drive are in excellent condition with no blockages or collapses, Baker said. Pipes are 15- to 24-inches in diameter. County drainage pipes aren’t in that area, but farther south, he said.

Baker also suggested a future work session dedicated to discussing enforcing rules, including not dumping leaves in drain ditches. Council members agreed.

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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