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Westernport in Allegany County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Working Together for the Community

Westernport Flood Mitigation, Restoration, and Park Development Project

 
 
Working Together for the Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 5, 2010
1. Working Together for the Community Marker
Inscription.  
Flooding. In 1996, two devastating floods caused catastrophic damage throughout a four county area of Western Maryland. The town of Westernport, located at the confluence of Georges Creek and the Potomac River, was one of the hardest hit by the floods, and one of the first to incorporate non-structural alternatives in their flood recovery efforts.

Phase I. Flood recovery efforts included the purchase and removal of 27 homes located within the floodplain, reconstruction of streambank retaining walls to protect highway infrastructure, repair and relocation of sanitary sewers, and the environmental restoration and re-establishment of the floodplain area for a one mile stretch of Georges Creek in Westernport

Phase II. Westernport Creekside Park was developed in the newly acquired floodplain open space. Participants in the planning process included school students, educators, senior citizens, property
Biggs Pavilion and Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 5, 2010
2. Biggs Pavilion and Marker
owners, businesses, civic organizations, community leaders, and elected officials. The plan for the Greenway Park complements the floodplain restoration work, allows for many educational opportunities, and includes areas for passive recreation. The plan itself is conceptual In nature, and provides a long-term vision for use of the Georges Creek floodplain and related community resources.

(sidebar)
Why use no structural alternatives?
• The planting of vegetation along streambanks slows down flow, decreasing erosion and downstream floodpeaks.
• Non-structural alternatives promote the creation of pools and riffles which improve fish habitat.
• Shade provides improved habitat and helps maintain water temperature.
• Restoration efforts using bioengineering methods reduce bank erosion and channel deposition, which significantly reduces maintenance costs.
• Working naturally with the waterway will help the creek to stabilize itself and maintain its banks and channel.

Project Partners. • Town of Westernport • Westernport Elementary School • Saint Peters Elementary School • Westernport Senior
Dedicated to Those Who Lost Their Homes on This Site in the Flood of September 1996 image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 5, 2010
3. Dedicated to Those Who Lost Their Homes on This Site in the Flood of September 1996
Mr. & Mrs. John Armentrout • Mr. & Mrs. George Buckholtz • Mrs. Aleda Collins • Mr. Tom Elliott • Mr. & Mrs. Ellis Friend • Mr. Brent Jackson • Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Markle • Mr. & Mrs. Gene Mayhew • Mr. & Mrs. Stanley Muir • Mr. & Mrs. William Muir • Mr. & Mrs. Richard Nichols • Mr. & Mrs. Marvin Zais.
September 2000
Center • Potomac Volunteer Fire Department • Westernport Boy Scouts • American Legion Victory Post 01-55 • Westernport Redman • Allegany County • Maryland Office of Planning • Maryland DNR, Forestry • Maryland DNR, Program Open Space • Maryland Department of Environment • Maryland DOT, State Highway Administration • (7 additional illegible entries)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Natural ResourcesNotable Events.
 
Location. 39° 29.452′ N, 79° 2.555′ W. Marker is in Westernport, Maryland, in Allegany County. Marker is on Main Street (Maryland Route 937) near Ross Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Westernport MD 21562, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Don Redman (approx. 0.6 miles away in West Virginia); Mayo and Savage (approx. 0.8 miles away in West Virginia); Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.9 miles away); West Virginia (Mineral County) / Maryland (approx. 4.9 miles away in West Virginia); Potomac State College
Entrance to Creekside Park image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 5, 2010
4. Entrance to Creekside Park
(approx. 5 miles away in West Virginia); Keyser / Averell’s Raid (approx. 5 miles away in West Virginia); a different marker also named Keyser / Averell’s Raid (approx. 5.1 miles away in West Virginia); Lest We Forget (approx. 5.1 miles away in West Virginia).
 
Also see . . .  Governor's Flood Mitigation Task Force for Western Maryland. This page has a photo of the 1996 flood. “The State of Maryland experienced several floods in 1996, two of which resulted in Presidential Disaster Declarations. Rapid snowmelt from the blizzard of early January 1996 led to the first of the two flooding disaster declarations (January 19, 1996) due to damage in Allegany, Garrett, Frederick, Washington, and Cecil counties. A second Presidential Disaster Declaration was granted for Allegany, Frederick, and Garrett Counties on September 22, 1996 as a result of heavy rainfall from Tropical Storm Fran. Both of the ‘declared’ flooding disasters manifested the greatest damage in Western Maryland, although damage from Tropical Storm Fran was noted around the State.” (Submitted on July 28, 2010.) 
 
Creekside Park image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 5, 2010
5. Creekside Park
This view is northwest. The smaller Biggs Pavilion is on the right behind the trees, behind which is the marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 28, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 852 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 28, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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