Ellicott City affected by floodingBack to list
Ellicott City was devastated by flash flooding from a massive rainstorm Sunday (27 May), just two years after a similar event forced the historic city in Howard County to rebuild much of its Main Street.
Murky brown water ripped through Main Street — the epicenter of flooding in the region — in the late afternoon, submerging cars and businesses’ first floors for nearly two hours. By nightfall, floodwaters had begun to recede. The cycle replayed scenes from 2016: customers stranded in restaurants, storefronts destroyed and cars overturned.
A day after the flooding, residents, merchants and officials in Ellicott City assessed the damage and began to ask the question: Should we rebuild again?
Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and directed the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to assist in Ellicott City’s recovery.
“They say this is a once-every-1,000-years flood, and we’ve had two of them in two years,” he said, calling the event “devastating.”
Officials said Monday that they were searching for one person who had been reported missing. Eddison Hermond, 39, of Severn was last seen at 5:20 p.m. Sunday near La Palapa restaurant on Main Street, according to Howard County police.
“This is worse” than the storm in July 2016, which killed two people and destroyed local businesses, Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman said at a news conference Sunday evening. He said he was “heartbroken” and urged people to avoid the area. “This is people’s lives, and they don’t need to have strangers coming around” gawking at the destruction, he said.
That July 2016 storm cost the historic mill town tens of millions of dollars in damage and lost business. And the damage was similar Sunday, with many of the same storefronts along Main Street — including the former Caplan’s Department Store — gutted once again.
As of about 9:30 a.m. Monday (28 May), BGE reported that slightly fewer than 600 Howard County customers were still without power, compared with about 770 in Baltimore City and Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Harford and Carroll counties combined. Hundreds more had been without power Sunday night. The provider predicted extended outages of gas and electric service in areas of heavy flooding until equipment could be examined and possibly rebuilt.