Howard County Executive Calvin Ball stands behind a poster showing an Ellicott City flood mitigation options comparison during a news conference April 17.
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball stands behind a poster showing an Ellicott City flood mitigation options comparison during a news conference April 17. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Howard County officials will host a press conference Monday to announce which plan they will pursue to ease future flooding in historic Ellicott City.

The announcement comes four weeks after County Executive Calvin Ball presented the five options under consideration. All five require razing at least four buildings on lower Main Street.

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The historic mill town has been ravaged by two deadly floods since 2016. Last August, then-County Executive Allan Kittleman proposed an estimated five-year, $50 million plan that would raze 10 buildings on lower Main Street. The plan was halted after the Republican lost his bid for re-election in November to Democrat Ball.

The three cheapest plans range from $63 million to $91.5 million and would take four to six years to complete. They propose razing at least four buildings and would leave between a maximum water depth of 4 feet and 5 feet on lower Main Street, in the event of an event similar to the 2016 flood.

The two most expensive proposals cost between $113.5 million and $175 million and would take five to seven years to complete. They would raze four buildings and leave a maximum of 2 feet to 3 feet of water on lower Main Street, in the event of a flood.

Howard officials detail Ellicott City flood mitigation proposals. Here’s how they differ from the earlier one.

Howard County officials on Thursday night hosted a meeting to further explain its proposals to mitigate flooding in historic Ellicott City, an old mill town that has seen two deadly floods since 2016.

The press conference will be at 11:30 a.m. at the George Howard building.

These are the five options:

» Plan 1 would demolish four structures (Phoenix Emporium, Great Panes Art Glass Studio, Discoveries and Bean Hollow), would drop to 4 feet of water on lower Main Street in the event of a 2016 flood, and would take an estimated six years and $91.5 million to complete. This plan includes four retention ponds higher in the watershed.

» Plan 2 would demolish six structures (Tea on the Tiber, Portalli’s, Phoenix Emporium, Great Panes Art Glass Studio, Discoveries and Bean Hollow), leave a maximum water depth of 4 feet on lower Main Street in the event of a 2016 flood, and take an estimated six years and $79.5 million to complete.

» Plan 3 would demolish four structures (Phoenix Emporium, Great Panes Art Glass Studio, Discoveries and Bean Hollow), leave a maximum water depth of 4-5 feet on lower Main Street in the event of a 2016 flood, and is estimated to take four years and $63.5 million to complete. This plan involves fewer retention ponds.

» Plan 4 would demolish four structures (Phoenix Emporium, Great Panes Art Glass Studio, Discoveries and Bean Hollow), leave a maximum depth of 3 feet on lower Main Street in the event of a 2016 flood, and take an estimated five years and $113.5 million to $140.5 million to complete. This requires boring a 15-foot-in-diameter, 80- to-100-foot-deep tunnel from Lot F off Ellicott Mills Drive to the Patapsco River.

» Plan 5 would demolish four structures (Phoenix Emporium, Great Panes Art Glass Studio, Discoveries and Bean Hollow), leave a maximum water depth of 2-3 feet on lower Main Street in the event of a 2016 flood, and take an estimated seven years and $136 million to $175 million to complete. This requires boring the tunnel in Plan 4 and a 10-foot-in-diameter tunnel from New Cut Road to the Patapsco River.

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