Despite Millions Spent, Neighbors Say Flooding Worsens

OCEAN CITY – Neighbors near the bay around Second and Third street say they understand that flooding takes place throughout this barrier island community. They also understand that the city has ramped up its flood protection projects in recent years, Pete Sokolowski told City Council at its Nov. 8 meeting. Still, he said, flooding seems to be getting worse.

He and other neighbors who attended the meeting pointed the finger at a gap in the bulkhead at a Bay Avenue business; one they say was damaged in Hurricane Sandy and never repaired.

In recent years, Ocean City has taken on massive road and drainage projects, with administration officials saying they are trying to make up for lost time after years of neglect.

The city plans to spend $7.75 million on road and drainage work this year, adding up to $32 million over the next five years.

That’s meant detours and inconvenience in the off season, with promises of improvements in the long term.

Sokolowski and his neighbors fall within the North End Pumping Station project, a large-scale work to install a network of drainage pipes from First to Eighth street between West Avenue and the bay.

Plans call for the installation of three pump stations to help move water out of neighborhoods, with an expected completion in December, according to the city website.

The total cost is $8 million, cushioned by a $5 million FEMA grant, said to be the largest the city has ever received.

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