Prompted by the Ellicott City flood in July, local and state lawmakers are exploring a series of changes that would help the 244-year-old river town control the flow of water and give relief to local businesses.
Standing in a newly refurbished store once a boutique where children and adults with autism worked, local and state elected officials honored merchants, organizations and residents for their heroism after a deadly flood swept through old Ellicott City nearly three months ago.
Our Lady's Center chapel, bookstore and gift shop in Ellicott City suffered substantial flooding across its property following the July 30 flood that ravaged Main Street. On Wednesday, Oct. 19, the chapel held a thank-you Mass and reception for the county departments and private contractors who helped get the area back on its feet.
Like other areas in Valley Mede, an Ellicott City development built more than 40 years ago, the Chens' lot became a swimming pool during the July 30 flood, which killed two people and swept businesses in old Ellicott City into ruin.
With a purposeful lack of fanfare, Howard County officials quietly reopened Ellicott City's Main Street on Thursday afternoon, two and a half months after flash floods killed two people and caused devastating damage in the historic mill town.
Insurance woes are popping up along parts of old Ellicott City, where few Main Street businesses, faced with high premiums, bought flood insurance. And some that did say insurance companies are reneging on their promises, shirking claims and offering limited coverage, leaving many small businesses unsure of how they will recover from uninsured losses that are in the thousands of dollars.
Columbia Association fitness instructor Robin Holliday, who lost her HorseSpirits Art Gallery in the Ellicott City flooding July 30, was uplifted Wednesday during a free dance-for-donations party at Soccer Stop in Columbia.
As development has increased on the hilly terrain overlooking the 244-year-old river town, the amount of rain rushing off rooftops and parking lots also has grown — making Ellicott City's low-lying Main Street more vulnerable to intense rains that meteorologists say are hitting the region more frequently.
More than 100 bars, restaurants, catering services and other businesses around the Baltimore area posted openings for servers, bartenders, chefs and other service industry positions in a Facebook group called "Keep Ellicott City Working."
In the clouds and on the ground, Saturday, July 30, began unremarkably for a summer day in the Mid-Atlantic. And then the clouds unleashed a flood on Ellicott City, killing two and devastating an entire community.
Heather Owens' car had floated down Main, struck a guardrail and crashed into the raging Patapsco River. She got out through the passenger window, grabbed the branch of a tree and scrambled onto the rocky bank. Her boyfriend Joe Blevins was swept away, his body found the following morning two miles away.
One woman trapped in a building on Main Street in Ellicott City on Saturday called 911 in a panic as cars carried by historic flood waters went "flying" down the street and water began to seep through the floor, according to 911 tapes released by Howard County police on Wednesday.
County Executive Allan Kittleman announced the center's opening late Monday afternoon as a central location where owners and residents affected by the historic flood could find information on necessities. While some individuals sought out monetary relief for basic items such as food, clothing and shelter, others pursued information on their vehicle and homeowner's insurance policies and how they might best move forward while they still had limited access to their flooded businesses.
Dozens of volunteers, hauling tools and food donations in wheelbarrows, moved down Main Street in Ellicott City on Tuesday, carrying hope down the same route that devastating floodwaters had traveled days earlier.
The stylists at Salon Marielle don't know if they'll ever get back into their Main Street building following Saturday's devastating flooding in Ellicott City. But soon they'll have a temporary home at another salon in Columbia.
For the second time in five years, a deluge so large meteorologists expect it only once in hundreds of years hit Ellicott City on Saturday, leaving residents and Howard County officials to ask: Can anything be done to fortify the historic valley town against such an extreme flooding flood in the future?
A torrent of water caused by an intense bout of rain ripped through the historic downtown of Ellicott City late Saturday night, leaving a path of death and destruction that shocked even the most weather-worn residents and shop keepers of the old mill town.
Officials are seeking federal assistance to help residents and businesses whose property was lost or damaged in the flood that ravaged historic Ellicott City on Saturday, and scheduled an information session Monday afternoon at which locals can learn how to apply for recovery relief.