National News

Maryland city facing major rebuild after flash floods

Posted May 29, 2018 12:31 p.m. EDT

— Downtown Ellicott City is shut down, the city again looking at a massive rebuild.

The business owners and people who live there can't even get to their properties because of the damage caused by the flash flooding on Sunday.

"It really is hard for us to be down here a second time seeing the same thing over again," said Water Rescue Specialist Lt. Jeff Carl. "It kind of brought back that deja vu feeling last night and this morning when we were down here experiencing the same thing we did 22 months ago."

Howard County Police Chief Gary Gardner said crews performed around 30 water rescues of people stuck facing the rising waters.

Including a Howard County Police officer who had to hold on for his life while rescuing a family.

"The water quickly rose up to his chest and we was grabbing on to things and was fortunate to grab the staircase that you see just prior to the train bridge," Gardner said. "He hung on to that and was able to climb up to the top step and safety and then was reunited with some of the rescue folks."

Lauding the efforts of the counties teams and the everyday people who jumped in to save their neighbors.

"There was also a lot of individuals that were down here that provided that same level of heroic activities. Pulling people out providing them security getting them to higher ground and moving them."

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman wanted to keep the focus on helping the business owners recover or relocate, saying they understand either way.

Kittleman said they had already had a plan in place to upgrade and clean out channels and make big culverts.

"A hydraulic study was done right after the flood to basically understand where are the best places for us to work," Kittleman said. "We did all of that plus have design plus have construction funds appropriated. Plus have some of the stream walls being done. We had the Army to Corps of engineers helping our business and residents. There has been a lot of effort going on since 2016."

Another terribly perfect storm rocking this area, leaving people to question if they should pick up the pieces or leave it all behind.