Mt. Hebron also reported small amounts of flooding in the school's front hallway, and water coming into several classrooms through windows, leaking ceiling tiles or air units.

At Worthington Elementary School, several classrooms on the perimeter of the building experienced flooding as well, with water coming in from under the doors where the side field had flooded. Those students were relocated to other classrooms.

At several schools, students in portable classrooms were moved indoors and placed in other classrooms.

Columbia resident Carolyn Hunt, who has lived in the Stevens Forest community for 35 years, said this is the first time she's seen the creek, which is about 100 feet from the back of her house, rise enough to overflow and reach halfway to her house.

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On Main Street in historic Ellicott City, parts of the road were covered in knee-deep, rushing water, and fire and rescue swift water teams were walking up and down the street.

"You couldn't walk across the street, it was knee-high," said Spencer Padgett, who works with Arrisbrook Builders.

Padgett had been having lunch at the recently opened Subway on Main Street when the streets started flooding — so much that water seeped into the Subway.

"It started ripping bumpers off cars," he said.

Upon returning to his office up the street, at 8320 Main Street, Padgett observed water pouring out of the first floor.

Ellicott Mills Brewery bartender Joe Stanley said the flooding, which started around noon, "was scary; it was so fast.

"It was insane. We got a lot of damage," he added. The brewery's basement dining area was flooded with three feet of water.

Terri Trembeth, who lives in a second story apartment at 8298 Main Street, said she looked outside and saw water covering the street and a car stuck in the road.

"It looks like a mini-Niagara Falls," she said.

But 75-year-old Leroy Oates, who lives in Ellicott Terrace Apartments, said the flooding is "minor" compared to the Main Street flooding after Hurricane Agnes in 1972.

"That one was all the way up to Columbia Pike," he said.

Staff writers David Greisman, Kevin Rector and Sara Toth contributed to this report.