The following was published on the county’s website, www.HowardCountyMD.gov
Deidre McCabe, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 410-707-5375
Mark Miller, Administrator, Office of Public Information, 443-379-2047
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Ellicott City was dealt a devastating blow last night when nearly six inches of rain fell on the area in less than two hours, causing a destructive flash flood that claimed two lives, significantly damaged dozens of businesses and displaced many residents.
This morning, I toured Ellicott City’s Main Street with Governor Larry Hogan and Congressman Elijah Cummings, who represents Ellicott City, where we witnessed a level of destruction never before seen in Ellicott City, including the damage from Hurricane Agnes in 1972.
At midnight, I signed a Declaration of Emergency for Howard County and Governor Hogan also declared a State of Emergency for Howard County, making the County eligible to receive state assets and putting in motion the process to seek federal assistance. Representatives Cummings and John Sarbanes offered their support to obtain federal funds to help with the recovery.
The downtown area from the Patapsco River to Rogers Avenue remains closed to vehicles, residents and business owners while county inspectors conduct structural reviews of all buildings. Today, workers inspected approximately 200 properties in Ellicott City. Four to five of those properties are destroyed. Another 20-30 suffered substantial damage.
It has yet to be determined when individuals will be allowed to return to their homes and businesses. Many structures and sections of sidewalk and roadway are still unstable. Utility crews shut down gas and water mains to the area to make repairs.
County police, along with support from the Maryland State Police, have secured the area and will remain around the clock for as long as necessary. The process of towing about 170 vehicles has begun and will continue through tomorrow. Vehicles will be towed at no charge to owners to Centennial High School. We will let residents know when they can begin to retrieve their vehicles, most likely no sooner than Tuesday.
I also will be holding a Recovery and Information Session for those impacted by the storm tomorrow, August 1, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Ellicott City 50+ Center. We will provide the latest information and answer questions about the recovery efforts.
We have received an immense outpouring of support for the victims of this tragedy, and we are deeply touched by this generosity. We ask for the moment that people refrain from dropping off unsolicited donations. We will need volunteers and help soon and will let you know. If you would like to make a monetary donation, we are working with the American Red Cross Greater Chesapeake Region to establish a dedicated fund. If you would like to make food donations, please contact the Community Action Council of Howard County.
If you have any questions, please call 410-313-2900.