Why Prince George’s Co. floods — and what can be done to fight it

It’s a well-known fact for many Maryland homeowners in Prince George’s County: floods happen. But why? And what can be done about it?

Melinda Bolling, county director of permits, enforcement and inspections, said during a council meeting Tuesday that it comes down to flatlands, older homes built before regulations, high groundwater and what she called “bad soil.”

Tackling the issue comes down to code changes, enhanced enforcement and property owner remedies.

“They aren’t aware of devices that were put in place to keep water away from their home, so we need to educate them,” Bolling said.

In some cases, homeowners may need to connect devices to a storm drain. In other cases, a replacement or a larger pump may be needed.

Bolling said one way property owners can make a difference is ensuring storm drains are unclogged.

“They need to be maintained,” she said. “You’ve got to get the leaves and branches and other debris away from it so that they can work as intended.”

According to a presentation, more than 4,300 calls about flooding and draining complaints have been placed in the last three years.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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