ANNAPOLIS, MD (February 12, 2001) – Governor Parris N. Glendening announced Board of Public Works approval of $100,000 to purchase 45 properties in the Dry Run floodplain, near Cumberland, so that existing homes and infrastructure can be demolished and the area preserved as perpetual open space. A two-year study completed late last year by the Natural Resource Conservation Service found that the Dry Run basin falls prey to heavy flooding roughly every 10 years.
"These funds will help us to ensure the safety of Maryland residents and protect land in a vital watershed area," said Governor Glendening. "We are laying the foundation for a better quality of life for families in Allegany County that have been continually plagued by rising waters."
The acquisitions will be made through the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Comprehensive Flood Management Grant Program. Dry Run, which empties into Evitts Creek and on to the Potomac River, can rise to the height of a one story building in some places during times of heavy flooding. In the 1970s, the flood action was so swift it swept a man downstream leaving him with lifelong injuries.
Maryland’s Comprehensive Flood Management Grant Program assists local jurisdictions with cost-share projects that include acquiring threatened properties, building levies and flood walls, and other flood mitigation activities. Since 1980, the program has designated $29.8 million for such projects.
"We have committed more than $290,000 in local funds to the Dry Run basin project, which is also being funded by a grant of more than $1.46 million in federal funds through the Natural Resource Conservation Service," said Allegany County Board of Commissioners President Dale R. Lewis. "This is the first step in meeting our goal to remove these homes from the floodplain and allow the residents to move to a safer location."
Chaired by Governor Glendening, the Board of Public Works also is comprised of Comptroller William Donald Schaefer and Treasurer Richard N. Dixon. The Board is empowered by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement actions.
MDE's primary mission is to protect and restore the quality of Maryland's air, water, and land resources. The department works to ensure achievement of the state's environmental goals while fostering economic development, safe communities, and environmental education.