Frederick City Officials Listens To Residents’ Experiences During The May Floods

They were also concerned about future floods.


Frederick, Md (KM). A number of residents who were affected by the floods on May 15th-16th in the city of Frederick showed up Tuesday night for a town hall meeting.

Frederick City officials heard from citizens whose homes were flooded out, including this woman who lives on West 14th Street. “I am scared to leave my home very frequently now,” she said. “It’s a fear that things are not going to drain properly……there’s almost no gutter from the street to our sidewalk on 14th Street. So when water comes, it’s a river.”

Another woman lives on Motter Place also said there were not enough drains on her street or her neighbors,’ and that was evident when the heavy rains came. “So my question would be: in the short term for a fraction of the cost of big improvements, could you just put more drains in the streets, or is that impossible,” she asked. “It seems to me that wouldn’t be that expensive, and the water has no where to go.”

Mayor Michael O’Connor said additional drains may not be the answer in every case.. “There is capacity in the lines in the grounds, yes, more inlets would allow more water to get into those pipes and flow away. But if there’s not capacity in the grounds, it’s like pouring water in a glass that’s already full. It’ still gong to overflow.”

While the Carroll Creek Flood Control project worked during the May floods, there were some areas in Frederick were underwater, mainly North Market Street and Motter Avenue. “That entire area was inundated. So we’re going to taking a look at that to determine if there are possibly overland flow or places where we can allow storm water to be captured or held up,” said City Engineer Tracey Coleman.

During the flooding, Coleman said an estimated six to seven inches of rain on the night of May 15th. Mayor O’Connor said these types of storms used to be rare, and sometimes referred to as 100-year storms. But he says they’ve now become more frequent, and the city may need to redesign its infrastructure to accommodate these weather events.

The flooding also affected the YMCA building on North Market Street. One neighbor took aim at the Y for diverting the floodwaters from its property to his home and yard. “I’m very traumatized by all this because I take pride in my property. I know others have received just as much loss. I just feel like the YMCA should do something to get water to go in the opposite direction,” he said

Steve Heine, the Chairman of the Board of the YMCA, says the non-profit wants to work with its neighbors. “We’re looking for a solution that frankly benefits everyone along that alley, not just the Y,” he said. “I can tell you we’re looking at ways even within the Y of pushing the water to other parts of our parking lot so it doesn’t go into that the low part where we have the issues.”

Mayor O’Connor said the city is doing all it can to mitigate the problems left behind by the flooding. “We’re going to move as judiciously and smartly as we can to try to meet the community’s needs in this regard,” he said. “We can’t go any faster than we can go. But we’ll go as fast as we can to try and resolve it.”

In the meantime, the Mayor urged citizens to report their flood problems to the city by calling 301-600-1440, or go on line to cityoffrederick\storm.

He also urged citizens to apply for loans through the US Small Business Administration. “Whether you think you would ever use those loans or not, apply for them because it gives an option to you if you decide you want to take advantage of it. And there’s an August 13th deadline,” he says.


By Kevin McManus