Montgomery Co. deadly flooding prompts discussion on stormwater management


19-year-old Melkin Cedillo died in the Rockville apartment flood

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — A few weeks after flooding damaged homes and killing a 19-year-old man, officials are looking into ways to prevent disasters like this from happening again.

Stormwater management has become a major priority for Montgomery County since this neighborhood in Rockville was devastated by floodwaters just a few weeks ago.

Montgomery County Councilmember, Evan Glass said, “Nearly 100 residents were displaced, and a young man died as a result of that extreme rushing water that flowed through the Twinbrook apartment complex.”

Montgomery County’s climate action plan will now address flooding. An office of legislative oversight report finds there were about 2-4 flooding events per year in the county before 2010. “But since 2010, that number has risen to nearly 40 flooding events a year,” Glass stated.

A comprehensive review is in the works as environmentalists suggest flooding is one that poses serious climate risks to county infrastructure.

Department of Environmental Protection Director, Adam Ortiz said, “We can move our resources to those vulnerable areas and our recent procurement watershed does focus on those more vulnerable areas as well.”

The director says he plans to take a deep dive into an understanding beyond infrastructure into what other areas in the county are vulnerable to when it comes to economically and socially vulnerable populations. 

Experts say as the climate is continuously changing, there could be more events that are much worse than what happened this month. That’s why the county is working fast to prepare.

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