Growing Concerns Over Erosion Problems in Somerset County - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Growing Concerns Over Erosion Problems in Somerset County


PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- There are growing concerns about flooding and erosion in different areas in Somerset County.

County Commissioners have asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a few studies on vulnerable areas like Rhodes Point on Smith Island, Frenchtown, Crisfield and Rumbley.
Barb Long, who lives along a quiet residential street in Rumbley, said she is worried that her home will eventually take a hit from rising water in her area.

She said she and her husband got a taste of what could happen to their area during Hurricane Sandy.

"We looked out of our window and we just saw the water coming," Long said. " It went to like the third step of our house, so it was very scary to look at. It was kind of like looking at an ocean."

Long says her husband had their house built higher than other homes on the block as a precautionary measure.

"If things keep the way they are, it'll be a little scary," Long said. "We'll be having water maybe next door to us."

She's right. Charles Fisher, vice president of the Somerset County Commission , said there is heavy erosion along the shoreline near the Frenchtown and Rumbley areas. It's the same case for Rhodes Point on Smith Island. The tidal dyke system, southeast of Crisfield, is deteriorating too.

"Somerset County is a lot smaller today than it was many years ago," Fisher said.

Fisher said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to conduct an analysis on the structure. Studies on shoreline erosion have been agreed upon too, according to Fisher. Federal funding is limited to $100,000 for each study.

"It's not going to protect 100 percent of it, but if we don't start, we won't have Rhodes Point, Rumbley and some of the low-lying areas because they are going to erode away if we don't do something."

Franklin Marshall, who lives 10 miles away from Long's neighborhood in Rumbley, doesn't want to see that happen.

"I guess they better do something about it. Not in my lifetime, but people after me [the land]; it's steadily eating away and soon after will be gone.

While the Corps has agreed to do the studies, Fisher said commissioners have not been notified yet on when it will happen.

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