State’s top elected official adds name to list of nearly five dozen political leaders
(Sept. 6, 2019) Espousing the need for nonpartisan solutions to address rising sea levels and heightened flooding incidents, Gov. Larry Hogan last week joined with the American Flood Coalition to champion its campaign for long-term adaptation strategies.
Hogan joins South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster as the second top state-elected official, along with nearly five-dozen politicians, to back the American Flood Coalition.
In total, the coalition has more than 180 members from 14 states, including elected officials, military leaders, businesses and civic groups.
Hogan said in a statement that Maryland continues to take the lead by establishing, “strong environmental and climate leadership,” in an attempt to, “advance real solutions,” nationally.
Hogan stressed the importance of proactive strategies to safeguard, “our citizens, our economy, and our environment.”
Melissa Roberts, executive director of the American Flood Coalition, said, perhaps, the largest challenge related to flooding occurrences is changing the dynamic of preparedness.
“No one wants it to flood [but] we need to be preparing before these storms hit,” she said
Roberts said that all too often community members lack foresight regarding the dangers Mother Nature presents.
“That’s when it’s so important to have leaders like Gov. Hogan who can break through the inertia and help us to really change our policy to adapt to higher seas, stronger storms and the more frequent flooding that we’re seeing across the country,” she said.
Besides Maryland absorbing high-dollar flood related costs in recent years, including two 1,000-year floods in Ellicott City and ever increasing tidal waters in Annapolis, Roberts noted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have estimated sea rise off the Ocean City coastline of at least half a foot over the next 15 years.
While the approach of Hurricane Dorian towards the southeast U.S. coastline dominated headlines this week, Roberts said reactionary approaches only serve to leave lives in harm’s way.
“We see moments when a hurricane captures a news cycle, and it’s critically important, but the hard work is really done before there’s a storm,” she said. “We need to be preparing before these storms hit.