Press Release

September 23, 2010
Federal funds will protect residents, businesses from extra expense of flood insurance

– U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD)
today announced the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded the City of Cumberland $125,000 in federal grant funding that will allow the city to take the next necessary step towards ensuring that residents and businesses located near the Potomac River and Wills Creek are spared the expense of purchasing federal flood insurance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).


“In the past, the Potomac River and Wills Creek have presented a potential flood threat to the residents of Cumberland, but the Cumberland Flood Control Project has done an outstanding job of lessening the threat of future flooding,” said
Senator Cardin. “This grant will enable the city to take the necessary steps so that residents and businesses will not have to purchase additional insurance to protect them from flooding.”

 “Businesses all over the country, including many right here in Cumberland, are facing an economic crisis, and they need a government that works for them
,” Senator Mikulski said. “These federal funds will help put money back into the pockets of business owners and residents. It is an important investment in sustained economic success in Western Maryland, and I will keep fighting to maintain federal investment in Maryland communities.”

The City of Cumberland will use these grant funds to conduct an engineering analysis of area waterways and flood levies in order to determine eligibility for FEMA certification. If the levies retain certification, 400 businesses and 178 households would be spared the extra expense of purchasing federal flood insurance.


After Hurricane Katrina, Congress required FEMA to recertify all levies to make sure they are structurally sound and effective. Without these certifications, FEMA will not indicate the areas protected by the levies as safe from flooding on insurance maps, requiring residents and businesses to purchase costly flood insurance as a result.

In addition to ARC funds, local sources will provide $125,000 towards the project total of $250,000.
The ARC is a federal-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life.