O.C. Takes $642,420 Step to Help Flood-Prone Neighborhood

first_imgFlooding at 32nd Street and Haven Avenue during the height of the four-day northeast gale that swamped streets last weekend. City Council on Thursday awarded a $642,420 contract to Michael Baker International Company to design drainage and roadway improvements in an area of Ocean City buried under floodwaters many times a year.Noreen McBride of the 3200 block of Simpson Avenue told City Council that she moved her car to higher ground at the nearby Acme on Friday as a northeast gale caused the highest tides in Ocean City since Superstorm Sandy. She said she was “marooned in (her) house for three days” as the ensuing flood never receded.That’s the situation that McBride’s neighbors, Baker International and City Council want to improve for the area between 26th and 34th streets, Bay and West avenues.Council unanimously approved the resolution naming Baker as the design contractor. The same company completed a $44,720 engineering study of the area.The firm outlined potential fixes that could cost more than $12.5 million in a neighborhood meeting in August. Read more: Residents Happy to Hear Plan to Stem Tide on City Streets.The contract awarded on Thursday covers only the design work, permitting and other preliminary study. Council still would have to appropriate funds to execute the plans, and no timeline for that was discussed on Thursday.Merion Park resident Marty Mozzo talked about a similar project designed by Baker International for another of Ocean City’s low-lying neighborhoods.The improvements couldn’t stop the worst flooding he’s seen since 2009 and 2012’s Superstorm Sandy, Mozzo said, for five successive high tides.“But in the old days, the tide would not drain,” he said. “This time each and every tide drained. I think the other folks will enjoy what Baker is doing.”Suzanne Hornick, a leader of the OC Flooding citizens’ group advocating to expedite drainage improvements island-wide, thanked Mayor Jay Gillian and City Council “for everything you’ve done so far.” She also asked the administration to consider forming a volunteer group of property owners from each ward, Baker International representatives and city officials to work together on remediation plans.Ocean City Business Administrator Jim Mallon also reported to City Council that the city’s engineers are working on a separate island-wide comprehensive assessment of drainage needs.Mallon said the work is about 25 percent complete and ultimately will be input into the city’s GIS system and also available for the public to view online.Read more: Council Roundup: Pickleball Is In, OCTC Improvements on the Way__________Get the Daily: Sign up for free updates on Ocean City newslast_img

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