Between September 18, 2003, and October 29, 2012, torrential storms accompanying Hurricane Isabel, Tropical Storm (T.S.) Gaston, T.S. Ernesto, T.S. Ida, T.S. Irene, and Hurricane Sandy dumped approximately 5-10 inches of rain per storm in the York District of the county. High tides from several named and unnamed storms also damaged properties in the area. The low lying York and Severn River watersheds were overwhelmed by the events and high water flooded many homes. The Guinea area of Gloucester was the hardest hit area and suffered damage to dozens of businesses and hundreds of homes. Some of the most extreme damage occurred in the Jenkins Neck and Maryus communities where over 35 residential units were deemed irreparable and subsequently demolished.
Our planning department assisted the County in the development of a Disaster Mitigation Recovery Plan. Our team worked with community stakeholders and the County to identify major obstacles and opportunities and to develop strategies and goals for flood recovery. All work products were considered in relation to the availability of state and federal funds. A recovery program was developed that included flood relief/mitigation, housing, recreation, and conservation. Since 2006, the plan has used both Hazard Mitigation Grant funds and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to assist in the construction of new homes as well as the elevation of over 100 homes out of the floodway. The program also helped to establish a community park as well as to create over 100 acres of dedicated permanent open space in some of the most environmentally sensitive areas of the County. The applications submitted under the various grants resulted in over $750,000 in CDBG Urgent Needs funds and over $13.7 million in HMGP Mitigation funds.