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Study to Address Flooding in College Park Neighborhoods

Post-rain flooding in the Calvert Hill neighborhood. Photo credit: Councilmember John Rigg

Several neighborhoods in College Park have been experiencing major flooding incidents following rain events. There is a very strong desire to understand and address stormwater concerns throughout the City.

Recent severe rain events in the Calvert Hills neighborhood have necessitated that Prince George’s County Department of the Environment (DOE) undertake a major stormwater improvements project along the Guilford Run Watershed.

Residents in other neighborhoods in College Park, such as Daniels Park, Cherry Hill, and College Park Woods areas, have also complained about post-rain flooding in those neighborhoods.

Flooding following rains at a house in north College Park Rain-related flooding at a house in north College Park

There have been many other nuisance complaints from our residents where stormwater runoff on properties and in the streets is swifter and is taking longer to recede.

Many of these flooding events have caused sewage backflows with damages to the properties. Aging WSSC stormwater mains are causing the situation worse.

The causes of these floodings could vary. Lack of efficient stormwater management is generally blamed, but there could be other reasons. The flooding in Calvert Hills and Old Town neighborhoods is thought to be caused by stormwater coming from the University area through Guilford Run under Route 1. Some stormwater outlets were also closed when Metro train tracks were developed contributing to these floodings.

Flooding in Calvert Hills. The photo was from Sept 2020 about 45 mins after the height of the flooding. The water had already significantly receded. Photo Credit: Councilmember Stuart Adams

For these reasons, the City Council has asked staff to prepare a scope of work for a City-Wide Storm Water Drainage study.

At tomorrow’s meeting, the City Council will discuss an RFP seeking proposals from professional and qualified stormwater engineering firms to perform a comprehensive stormwater drainage study using the EPA Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) application on its 12 sub-watersheds within the Anacostia River Watershed.

It is estimated that such a task may cost $600,000.

 

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1 Comment to “Study to Address Flooding in College Park Neighborhoods”

  1. By Todd Reitzel, January 19, 2022 @ 8:49 am

    Another potential factor is tree canopy loss. If a study is commissioned, I suggest the City share with the consultant the 2018 Tree Canopy Assessment, which depicts, among other things, significant tree loss in Calvert Hills and other City neighborhoods. Mature trees absorb significant amounts of rainwater, and where there is significant tree canopy loss, there is likely to be increased stormwater runoff.