About 10% of land in the City of Laurel is in the floodplain, subject to the dangers of flash flooding. The Division of Emergency Management, in coordination with the Department of Economic & Community Development and the Department of Fire Marshal & Permit Services, administers local and federal development rules, meant to limit damage and protect lives, and maintains floodplain maps and models.
The City of Laurel’s floodplains are the areas likely to flood when the Patuxent River rises and flows over its banks. Every river, branch, creek and lake has a floodplain which contributes to the overall flow of water through our floodplain to the Patuxent River.
Our office maintains floodplain maps and hydrologic and hydraulic models, administers floodplain regulations, provides information to help protect property from floods and reviews applications to build or remodel in the floodplain.
The work we do ensures that the City of Laurel is compliant with FEMA rules, protects lives and properties, and allows City residents access to more affordable, federally-backed flood insurance.
Floodplains change over time due to development, capital improvement projects and other factors. We periodically restudy watersheds to keep pace with such changes. The most current floodplain study was completed and approved by FEMA in November, 2016.