October 2021 Tidal Flooding

Maryland VOAD is currently supporting the Eastern Shore Long-Term Recovery Committee (previously named the Somerset County Long-Term Recovery Committee) in their efforts to assist residents in Somerset and Dorchester Counties to recover from the October 2021 Tidal Flooding.

On October 29, 2021, Somerset and Dorchester counties experienced the worst Bay Tidal Flooding that has been seen in Maryland for fifty (50) years — in many places, eclipsing water levels that were seen in Superstorm Sandy. The storm was unnamed, undeclared, and not covered by the media. Few people know that the storm happened, even fewer know of the financial need to help survivors reach recovery. There was no funding from FEMA, and the State of Maryland does not have a direct funding mechanism for disaster survivors.

Maryland VOAD assisted the Somerset County Long-Term Recovery Committee, formed to support recovery after Hurricane Sandy and still in existence as a viable non-profit, to become the Eastern Shore Long-Term Recovery Committee (ESLTRC). By doing so, the ESLTRC now includes Board Members from Dorchester County and can lead recovery efforts in the county.

We have divided the response into Phase 1 and Phase 2.

The goal of Phase 1 has been to build 10 new homes and make only those repairs that were absolutely necessary to damaged homes. Phase 1 of the response to the Tidal Flooding of October 2021 has been completed!

We dedicated the first new home in November 2022. The family moved into their new residence in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas. A total of 10 new replacement homes were built for families whose homes were destroyed. A total of $1.3 million was raised for this effort. We thank our many funders and volunteers who helped us accomplish our goals for this phase. Below is a collage of some of the ten (10) homes we have built.

Through good management of funding and participation of disaster survivors in their own recovery, we are pleased to announce that we have sufficient funds to build an eleventh (11th) new home. Initially, this home will be used to provide temporary housing for families having their home elevated as a part of Phase 2. Once Phase 2 is completed the home will be given to a qualifying family.

The Eastern Shore Long-Term Recovery Committee (ESLTRC), with the support and collaboration of Maryland, has begun a cutting-edge long-term recovery (LTR) project that combines recovery with an intentional mitigation component. Phase 2 has the goal to elevate and repair 100 homes! This phase will provide the added benefits of:
• Making a more resilient community;
• Saving our faith-based and non-profit disaster agencies from having to provide repetitive services for things such as muck-outs, repairs and replacement of homes, and financial assistance;
• Saving local, state and federal tax dollars for funding services and resources for repetitive loss;
• Greatly reduced insurance rates;
• Providing better stewardship of funding entrusted to us; and most importantly,
• Significantly improving the quality of life and providing peace of mind for the families we serve

Phase 2 is in full swing. Below are the first two homes we have elevated—only 98 to go!! This was the first time we have used volunteers in the elevation process. Volunteer participation realized a savings of over $35,000 for each house—as compared to similar sized homes we elevated in 2016. We thank our MDS Volunteers for making this happen.

The Blue Ribbon Mitigation Task Group, formed to support this Phase, by people from across the United States, representing varied institutions and agencies, interested in an intentional response to climate change and global warming, met on May 21, 2024. Members of the task group reported on their efforts to help raise the $6 million needed to support this Phase. To date, over $850,000 has been granted or placed in agency budgets for this Mitigation+LTR (long term recovery) effort. Many thanks to Mennonite Disaster Service, Lowes Foundation, UPS Foundation, The New Castle Presbytery (Presbyterian Church USA), Lutheran Disaster Response, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Week of Compassion Fund, and The Somerset County Commissioners for their support of this project. We are happy to report that a part of this funding includes support for Kim Hopkins’ compensation package for the next 12 months!

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