By most estimates, more than seven inches of rain fell over the resort area last Saturday afternoon, causing wheels-deep flooding through much of Ocean City, especially in the north end where Coastal Highway was shut down for an extended period of time. It certainly isn’t unusual for Coastal Highway and many of the resort’s roadways to flood during even modest rainfall events, but last Saturday’s storm went to new heights.
City Engineer Terry McGean this week explained the town’s storm drainage system, which flows from east to west to outfalls along the bay, was inundated during the storm and simply couldn’t keep up.
“Ocean City is a barrier island, so that means we are very close to sea level, surrounded by water and flat,” he said. “Plus, we are almost completely built out with very little pervious surface area left to absorb rainfall in the ground. What that means is that most of the rainfall runs directly into our storm drain system.”