A project to build a $400 million gambling complex that will be home to a casino on Baltimore’s Russell Street is moving forward. Construction wasn’t allowed on the piece of land until last year due to the risk of flooding.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said the property was in an area that was particularly prone to flooding, but the city paid a consulting firm to re-evaluate the land and file an appeal. As a result, a new federal map was drawn and construction was allowed to move forward.
In an article in The Baltimore Sun on Tuesday, Geography and Environmental Systems Professor Andrew Miller described how it can be difficult to pinpoint the science behind flood maps.
“The truth is, the 100-year flood map is really somebody’s best estimate,” Miller said. “The 100-year flood is a moving target. You’ve got so many variables.”
Miller also said there are other areas near the harbor that are more prone to flooding than the casino.
“The casino is the least of our problems,” he said. “There’s a risk, but we accept those kinds of risks any time we build a city in a coastal zone.”