Elected officials up and down Prince George’s Route 1 corridor are pushing residents and businesses to report damages suffered as a result of flooding from a day-long torrential downpour Sept. 10, 2020. The hope is that enough damage will be reported for county or state officials to release disaster recovery funding.
This Thursday, Prince George’s County Office of Emergency Management has launched a digital form to collect data on flood damages.
The rains hit communities along the inner-Beltway Route 1 corridor particularly hard, with low-lying neighborhoods in College Park, Edmonston, Hyattsville, Riverdale Park, Mount Rainier, Brentwood and North Brentwood experiencing flooding along the banks of Northeastern and Northwestern Branches. Many residents reported rainwater flooding their homes and basements and damaging vehicles.
Since then, residents in those neighborhoods have complained about a lack of aid from county and state agencies. In City Council meetings this week, officials in Mount Rainier and College Park hoped data provided by residents could convince officials the area needs more government assistance. Tuesday, city officials across the county were briefed on the disaster by officials with the county Office of Emergency Management.
In Mount Rainier Mayor Malinda Miles said during City Council’s Tuesday night meeting that County officials on the call seemed unaware of the severity of the flooding in her city.
“They didn’t have a lot to offer us in terms of paying it forward,” said Miles.
“My heart really breaks for all the people who suffered sever damage last week,” said College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn, also during that city’s Tuesday night Council meeting. “It’s devastating to deal with these circumstances once, and to have to do it over and over again when the county keeps on promising that the problem will be fixed.”
In College Park, residents of Calvert Hills less-hilly areas found themselves flooded by several feet of water on some streets. A project to construct new drainage infrastructure for the area has been funded, but construction has not started yet.
“We need to get an account of this and get a real showing of what happened in College Park,” said City Councilor Robert Day, encouraging residents to report their damages to the county. “
“There are many people in leadership in Prince George’s County who didn’t experience the level of rainfall we experienced last Thursday,” said Prince George’s County Councilor Danielle Glaros, whose district includes parts of Hyattsville, College Park and Riverdale Park. “They need to see the photos, they need to see the video. Please keep sharing that.”