A grant program initially created in 2019 to assist property owners and businesses located in high-risk flood zones has been relaunched in Howard County.

Howard’s Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Program is available to property owners and businesses located in high-risk flood zones to assist with improvements to primary buildings or structural stream crossings, and to help remove debris from property adjacent stream channels. Through this expanded grant program, the County will match 50 percent of flood proofing costs up to a maximum match of $6,000 for property owners and $3,000 for businesses. Since its launch in 2019 as part of phase one of the EC Safe and Sound flood mitigation plan, more than $150,000 has been awarded.

The program quickly became used to support businesses and property owners in Historic Ellicott City as they made important safety improvements following the devastating Ellicott City floods of 2011, 2016 and 2018. Grant awardees included The Forget-Me-Not-Factory, a business on lower Main Street.

“After the 2018 flood, we wanted to protect and preserve our building, and reduce the stress on ourselves as well. The improvements are aesthetically pleasing, and serve the purpose of keeping the water out,” said Barry Gibson, owner of The Forget-Me-Not-Factory. “Howard County’s grant program assisted us in paying for these doors and flood proof products, and that was very helpful.”

The application for the program will open on Friday, March 15, and will close on Wednesday, May 1. Howard County Department of Public Works’ Stormwater Management Division will hold a hybrid public meeting on Monday, March 11, from 7-8 p.m. to help the community navigate and understand the grant application process. The meeting will be hosted in-person in the Columbia/Ellicott City Rooms of the George Howard Building in Ellicott City and virtually via Webex.

To participate in the meeting virtually, the Webex webinar number is 2316 832 5979 and the password is “prevention” or 77383684 from phones and video systems; to join by phone, call 1-650-479-3207 and when asked enter the access code: 231 83 25979.

Those unable to attend who have questions can contact DPW’s Stormwater Management Division at 410-313-0522 or email [email protected].

Details about the 2024 Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant program are also available at www.howardcountymd.gov/bureau-environmental-services/flood-protection.