The purpose of Phase 1 of the Prince George’s County Nuisance Flood Plan is to identify areas within the County prone to high-tide flooding, assess the impacts, provide options for tracking the effects of high-tide flooding over time, and identify recommended actions.
Various terms have been used to define high tide flooding. These include sunny-day, nuisance, recurrent, tidal, and sea level rise flooding (NOAA, 2020a). While there is no nationally recognized definition of high tide flooding, for purposes of this plan, high tide flooding refers to when local sea level temporarily rises above an identified threshold height for flooding, in the absence of storm surge or riverine flooding (U.S. Federal Government, 2020), to the point where it causes a public inconvenience. It should be noted that the term nuisance flooding is sometimes also used to describe flooding that is a result of clogged or overflowing storm drain systems that are outside of the floodplain and occurs during minor storm events. The term nuisance flooding as used in this plan is limited to high tide flooding.
High tide flooding in the absence of storm surge or riverine flooding may not pose as serious a threat to Prince George’s County or result in major damages to public and private properties, but it can interrupt the daily routines of residents in the County’s coastal areas. Locations subject to high tide flooding may eventually be vulnerable to more severe floods due to sea level rise, land subsidence, and the loss of natural barriers (NOAA, 2020a). This plan will enable the County to determine the extent of high tide flooding, create a baseline inventory for the years 2019 through 2021, and be used to evaluate contributing conditions.