Bride and groom evacuated during Ellicott City flooding, still manage to get married

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The torrential flooding in Ellicott City disrupted a wedding at the Main Street Ballroom on Sunday — but the bride and groom still managed to tie the knot, even after evacuating.

Bride Kristen Rigney, groom Craig Cymbor and their wedding guests were evacuated to La Palapa Grill & Cantina, where they were married before being evacuated again, said Rigney’s father, Bill Rigney.


A massive storm devastated Ellicott City on Sunday, causing major flooding on Main Street and prompting Gov. Larry Hogan to declare a state of emergency. The storm came less than two years after a flash flood forced the historic city in Howard County to rebuild much of its Main Street.

The wedding party knew of the historic flooding of Ellicott City in 2016, but “you think that’s a once in a decade thing,” Bill Rigney said. Then, “it looked like we were in the ‘Titanic’ or ‘The Poseidon Adventure.’”


At first the ballroom doors were keeping water out, but “all of the sudden it just can’t anymore,” Rigney said.

“Then you realize it’s just continuous, getting higher and higher,” the father of the bride said of the water. “We had the catering and the liquor and the band [equipment], all of that paid for, of course. But that all went with the water.”

No one from the wedding party was hurt, Rigney said.

The bride and groom decided to get married at La Palapa because “we were determined to marry them, to get at least one of our objectives complete,” Bill Rigney said.