Riverdale Park officials call for Prince George's County to improve stormwater infrastructure

Officials in Riverdale Park, Maryland are asking for infrastructure changes to stormwater management in Prince George's County to help better protect the area from flooding during heavy rainstorms, a problem the town dealt with twice during this week.

In a letter to the Prince George’s County Council and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, Riverdale Park Mayor Alan Thompson wrote that Riverdale Park had urgent concerns about the condition and capacity of Prince George’s County’s stormwater management infrastructure, concerns which Thompson says the town has informally and formally communicated before.

In order to fix the problem, Thompson is calling for the county to design, fund, and construct new and improved infrastructure along the Northeast Branch of the Anacostia River and its tributaries, in both the immediate Riverdale Park region and areas upstream of the town.

READ MORE: Flash flooding cleanup underway in Prince George's County

In addition to those changes, Thompson's letter also called for the County Executive and the County Council to implement short-term programs to mitigate flooding impacts for Town residents and businesses. These include, sizeable grants to assist homeowners in flood proofing their homes and the installation of sensor networks to provide early flood warnings to residents in flood prone areas.

The letter says the that Riverdale Park is prone to flooding due to its low elevation and proximity with three other municipalities that are sitting at a higher elevation. In addition to the geographical issues, Thompson claims that real estate development over the last decade has increased impervious surfaces in the area and caused more water runoff. 

Thompson adds that climate change is also playing a part in the problem.

"Climate change is also creating more severe storms and increased runoff, and these storms cause significant anxiety among Town residents, business owners, the residents of our neighboring municipalities, and commuters who rely on the arterial roadways and public transportation network through Riverdale Park," said Thompson's letter.

Thompson's letter explains that improving the stormwater management infrastructure is the county's responsible, and currently that infrastructure in Riverdale Park does meet the County’s guidelines.

Thompson concludes the letter by urging a quick and decisive actions from Prince George's County. The letter was sent to county officials in July.

Earlier this week, heavy storms dropped nearly three inches of rain in Prince George's County causing severe flooding in Riverdale Park and even leading to several water rescues and flooded businesses in the area. 

In addition to Thompson's letter, the town's council had previously submitted a formal request to the county on July 11, asking for new and improved infrastructure along the Northeast Branch of the Anacostia River. You can see the full request below:

You can read Thompson's full letter below: