Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman signed an executive order establishing a Flood Advisory Group to prioritize projects to control flooding in Historic Ellicott City. The 10-member group began meeting Monday, June 15.

“This is not another study group — we’ve studied the problem long enough. This is an action group,” Kittleman said. “This group will prioritize projects needed for a comprehensive flood mitigation plan. A project of this magnitude will be phased in over a number of years, and we need to assure that each phase is coordinated carefully and implemented in the right order for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.”

Kittleman collaborated with County Councilmember Jon Weinstein to select Debbie Slack Katz, a lifelong county resident, to serve as chair. Together, they appointed residents, business owners and property owners, with varied backgrounds, as members of the advisory group.

The Historic District in Ellicott City has long had problems with flooding during major storms. Destructive flooding occurred during Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972, Hurricane Eloise in 1975 and Hurricane Floyd in 1999. In addition to the Patapsco River, the Tiber-Hudson tributary and other smaller tributaries converge in the area, compounding the flooding problem.

Kittleman included $2.5 million for a first phase of flood mitigation projects in Fiscal Year 2016. Phase I includes the inspection, design and construction of retaining walls, a flood proofing study and the reformation of a channel under the Tiber Park Bridge. The group must complete its work by Oct. 31, 2016, or request a one-year extension. If the group does not request an extension, it will disband Nov. 1, 2016.

For more information, contact Raj Kudchadkar with Howard County’s Department of Planning and Zoning at 410-313-6376.