The Howard County Council extended a state of emergency Friday to Sept. 7 after Saturday's deadly flood swept through old Ellicott City last weekend, leaving two dead and displacing dozens of residents and gutting businesses.
The move extends a state of emergency Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman instituted late Saturday. By law, the state of emergency allows the Kittleman administration to control traffic, vehicles and public transportation, as well as limited access to public roads and the occupancy of buildings and can include imposing a curfew.
The county voted this morning to extend the state of emergency until Sept. 7, although the county executive can lift it earlier if he chooses to.
On Saturday, nearly two months worth of rainfall fell within two hours, causing the Patapsco River to rise and overwhelm the Tiber and Hudson rivers, said Ryan Miller, director of the county's Office of Emergency Management.
More than 30 vehicles remain submerged in the Patapsco River. Some are buried under piles of debris.
Crews surveyed the structure of all buildings on Main Street, including a "dangerous" area that is restricted as state and local officials determine how to demolish two buildings that may collapse, Miller said.
Miller said the impending collapse is "an extremely complex situation" because a collapse could cause additional flooding if debris falls into river below the buildings. Engineers are determining the best method to secure the area, Miller said.
Crews continue to search numerous debris piles, including some that are very large, Miller said.
Ninety businesses and 190 residents were directly impacted by the "unimaginable" flood, Miller said.