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Maryland Town Battles Runoff

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By Sabri Ben-Achour

Anytime it rains, the ground in Edmonston, Maryland quickly becomes waterlogged. it's a problem for people who live here.

"When the river gets flooded with rainwater, it literally comes up all over, you can see where it's been" says Brigitte Pooley.

Adam Ortiz is the mayor of this low lying town of 1400. He says his town is a trap for storm water runoff from all the paved surfaces in the area.

"At least 30-65 homes would be under water at least once a year because of flooding from parking lots, highways, shopping centers and streets," says Ortiz.

A new pumping station is keeping floods down, but Edmonston wants to be a model for how to prevent stormwater runoff in the first place. So with federal Recovery act money, the town is paving it's main street with permeable concrete to absorb rainfall. Rain gardens will trap and filter 85% of runoff. And there's native landscaping and wind-powered street lights for good measure.

"Where the rubber's gonna hit the road on the Chesapeake bay recovery effort, particularly around storm water, is at the local community level," says Allen Hance, with the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

Edmonston is putting all of it's designs, corrections, and experience online for other communities to use as a blueprint.

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