Flood Prone Oak Orchard Eyes Possible Solutions - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Flood Prone Oak Orchard Eyes Possible Solutions

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OAK ORCHARD, Del. - When almost a week of wind and rain was forecast for Delmarva, folks in the Sussex County community of Oak Orchard expected the worst.

"In the beginning, I thought it was going to be a disaster," says Bill Luciana, who's lived in the neighborhood for 10 years.

As of Friday, the waterfront community seems to have dodged a bullet, but the frequent flooding hasn't gone unnoticed.

Residents of Oak Orchard say tidal flooding is almost normal during a storm with high winds, but with it seeming to happen more frequently, local officials are starting to take action.  Surveys will be sent to residents to find out what issues they feel are most important.

State representative Ruth Briggs King says they're seeking the residents input because "they know the problems day to day."

Bill chimes in, "drainage is poor down here when the water does flood, it takes a long time to get out."

With the community sitting at sea level, one possible plan is to make the streets, and even some buildings, higher off the ground.

"To replace some of the infrastructure, maybe to put in some larger drains, to put in more drains, which means disruption of the roads and some of the other things that are there," says Briggs King, "those are the things that are going to take a little bit longer to do."

A more immediate plan will be clearing ditches of overgrown grass to improve drainage.

"We think that there are ways to assess community vulnerability there are ways to mitigate for future flooding and damage and there are some common sense solutions," says Frank Piorko, Division Director for the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship.

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