Ocean City Today

West OC residents frustrated by flooding, little gov’t can do

By Katie Tabeling | Nov 02, 2017
Photo by: Katie Tabeling Commissioner Bud Church hears his constituents’ complaints about property and road flooding in West Ocean City during the association’s annual meeting on Oct. 26 at the Lion’s Club on Airport Road.

(Nov. 3, 2017) Some West Ocean City neighborhoods will receive minor infrastructure improvements in the next few months, but residents are still at a stalemate with county officials over preventing flooding on roads during storms.

County Commissioner Bud Church, who represents the area, told West Ocean City Association members last Thursday that county officials are waiting for bids for 500 to 600 feet of curbing and gutters in Mystic Harbor, Ocean Reef, Deer Point and Oyster Harbor.

But West Ocean City as a whole will still have to rely on drainage ditches on the side of roads. Even then, those ditches are designed to keep water off the roads, not private property.

“Those ditches near Keyser Point Road are useless,” said resident Kevin Brown during the association’s meeting at the Lions Club Den on Airport Road. “I don’t have a magic ball to rub and figure out what needs to be done. But everyone drains to the bay, and my property is at the end. The water comes and it stops.”

Some West Ocean City roads were built in the 1950s without proper drainage, and now yards and streets are drowned in inches of rainfall. Problem areas include the Cape Isle of Wight neighborhood, the intersection of Center Drive and Golf Course road, and Old Ocean City Road.

“Those ditches were never meant to drain properties,” said association member Carolyn Cummins, a former chair of the Worcester County Planning Commission. “Years ago, when we tried to figure out stormwater management,  we dug and ran into more water,” she said. “You have to make a place where it drains out. I have a drain, and my property’s water drains right into the ground.”

Some residents call the county office to get crews to unclog pipes that drain water back into the bay.

“We know some pipes clog easily, and we’ll work to address those. But it’s not as easy as you call me up and I send a crew,” Higgins said. “West Ocean City’s drainage issues are different than Pocomoke’s and Snow Hill’s, so I don’t have one policy to cover all.”

Church said that he’ll work on getting crews to the area to clear the drainage ditches, while Higgins advised others to make their voices heard to all the commissioners.


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