Possible Flooding During Upcoming Storms

Long-term forecasting models suggest Hurricane Irma could bring significant rainfall and damaging winds to Maryland early next week.

While experts at the National Weather Service say it’s too early to predict precise impacts, path or timing of the storm, the Ocean Pines Association cautioned that if the hurricane reaches Delmarva, it could bring flooding and damaging winds.

The Association is urging residents and guests to prepare for possible flooding in Ocean Pines. This warning comes on the heels of recent downpour in the area.

“The ground is already saturated from rain earlier this week,” said Marketing and Public Relations Director Denise Sawyer. “Ocean Pines has experienced off-and-on torrential rain in a short period of time. When heavy rain is coupled with saturated soil, flooding usually is a result.”

The Association reminds residents who suffer from repeated flooding that the risk of flooding remains until the saturated ground recovers from recent storm systems.

The Public Works Department and Worcester County officials will work diligently to ensure residents are safe. The process does take time. Please allow for crews to respond and survey the damage in property-threatening situations.

Ryan Presock, who serves as a Natural Resources Inspector with the Worcester County Department of Environmental Programs, documented the recent rain event on Aug. 12. Presock stated, “Ocean Pines received an estimated 6.2 inches of rain in approximately six to seven hours.” He described the rain event on Aug. 12 as “significant” and stated it “was almost equivalent to a 25-year rain event which is 6.4 inches in a 24-hour period, not in 12 hours.”

There are no drainage plans to show what Ocean Pines infrastructure was designed for when it was initially developed, according to Presock.

“I will say that the infrastructure that is in place worked as efficiently as it could because of the improvements that have been completed in the recent years,” stated Presock.
Worcester County and Ocean Pines Public Works work almost daily to improve drainage in ‘The Pines.’

Public Works Director Eddie Wells and Acting General Manager Brett Hill will be briefing newly hired General Manager John Bailey on drainage in the coming days.

‘PinesAlert’ Emergency System

The Ocean Pines Association is increasing the public’s awareness of emergencies through the use of its new ‘PinesAlerts’ notification system, which is being powered by the Delmarva Broadcasting Company.

The notifications would include alerts for events such as road/traffic closures, power outages, severe weather, and other public safety events. The Ocean Pines Police Department will also utilize the ‘PinesAlerts’ text message-based system to warn residents of major crime alerts.

The alert system is now in place for anyone to sign up and begin receiving text message alerts from the association. To sign up, Ocean Pines residents and guests should text the word “PINES’ to 88474. Signup is free. Standard text message and data charges may apply. Subscribers will not be overloaded with text messages. For life-threatening emergencies contact 911.

For more information, contact Denise Sawyer, director of marketing and public relations for the Ocean Pines Association, at (410) 641-7717 ext. 3006 or dsawyer@oceanpines.org.

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