Howard County Times

With only minor damage, Howard gets back to normal after heavy rains

Despite road closures and water levels that threatened to burst up and over stream banks, Howard County escaped Wednesday's heavy rains relatively unscathed, according to county officials monitoring the situation.

Just three of the more than 25 roads and bridge crossings closed Wednesday were still shut down to traffic, county spokesman Mark Miller said Thursday.


Mink Hollow Road in Highland at the county line, Levering Avenue at River Road and Furnace Avenue at Race Road in Elkridge remain closed as water continues to drain, he said.

In Ellicott City, where Tropical Storm Lee brought flash flooding that devastated some areas of the historic town in 2011, the rains this time around brought only minor damage.


In parking lot E, behind the Ellicott Mills Brewing Company, a portion of a retaining wall slid toward the river and was washed away, according to Miller. There were no injuries, and county crews are working to put up temporary shoring in the lot, which is open, he added.

Michele Bickley, a resident of the town's West End up the hill from Main Street, where flooding hit the hardest three years ago, said the burgeoning water levels near her house Wednesday "got really scary."

"It was definitely the worst I've seen the stream since the 2011 flood, " she said, estimating that the channel was about 2 or 3 inches away from overflowing. "It was like holding our breath, because when it got really high it was looking like the same set-up from the flood.

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"We just got lucky," Bickley added.

Gretchen Shuey, who owns the Bean Hollow at the bottom of Main Street near the bridge, said she closed up shop at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, right around the same time the bridge connecting Howard and Baltimore counties was closed off to traffic because of deep standing water.

But she said the coffee shop escaped unscathed. She said the health department had already been through to clear her and other local shops for business.

"Ellicott City dodged another one," she said.

Elsewhere, at the Little Patuxent sewage plant in Savage, water treatment stopped for about an hour, between 11 p.m. and midnight on Wednesday when water levels were at the height of volume, according to Miller.


He said that county officials, following standard procedure, had alerted the Maryland Department of the Environment to the temporary lapse in treatment, but that the county didn't have any concerns about public health.

"The volume [of the water] is so great that anything just immediately gets dissipated," Miller said of the hour-long lapse.