Patapsco Heritage Greenway was asked to speak on the local panel for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works field hearing: “Oversight Hearing on Repeated Flooding Events in Ellicott City, MD: Reviewing the Federal Role in Preventing Future Events” on August 20. Below is our written testimony submitted by PHG President, Grace Kubofcik.
August 7, 2018
Senator Inhofe, Chair of the Subcommittee Transportation and Infrastructure:
The Patapsco Heritage Greenway is the managing entity of one of Maryland’s 13 certified Heritage Areas. We preserve, protect, interpret and restore the environment, history and culture of the Patapsco Valley between Daniels and Elkridge Maryland. Patapsco Valley Heritage Area is located in portions of both Baltimore and Howard Counties. It is the smallest Heritage Area but represents the largest population.
Within our mapped boundaries are the communities of Catonsville, Oella, Relay, Elkridge and Ellicott City each of which is within the watershed of the Patapsco River and its many tributaries.
Recent catastrophic rain falls, one in July 2016 and the other in May 2018 caused flood events that dramatically impacted the Ellicott City Historic District and its western residential areas.
During recovery from these events, our organization worked shoulder to shoulder with many partners including Howard County and Maryland State governments. We recognize that storm water protection, preservation and land use issues are largely local and state functions and we appreciate all that Baltimore and Howard Counties and the state of Maryland have done to preserve history help the area and recover from these tragic events. However, a viable, long-term solution is simply beyond local resources.
Our request for Federal Assistance is based on the core necessity of safety for residents, retailers, business owners and visitors.
Our priorities are financial support to:
- use technology to control storm water and to convey water safely through the Ellicott City residential areas and the Historic District
- preserve and restore historic buildings
- assist with flood mitigation products and flood insurance
- maintain the “National Road -Main Street” as a transportation and pedestrian corridor.
Our organization seeks and welcomes a Federal partnership, given the magnitude of our challenges and the unique resources in the Heritage Area. All design solutions should evaluate and consider the preservation of historic structures and artifacts in this river valley, a birth place of the American industrial revolution.
Grace Kubofcik, President