Businesses Demolished As Historic Flooding Destroys Ellicott City Maryland

My home town of Ellicott City Maryland got destroyed last night as historic flooding decimated Main Street, leaving two dead and many missing according to this Baltimore Sun report.

A torrent of water caused by an intense bout of rain ripped through Ellicott City’s historic downtown late Saturday night, leaving a path of death and destruction that shocked even the most flood-scarred residents and shop keepers of the old mill town.

Howard County officials on Sunday afternoon confirmed that at least one woman and one man were killed, though the circumstances surrounding their deaths were not immediately clear.

Andy Barth, a spokesman for Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman, said about 2 p.m. that several other people who had been reported missing earlier in the day had been accounted for, but search operations continued.

“It is possible that some people may be found in cars or buildings. We don’t know,” he said.

Residents and visitors said they witnessed people being swept down the street in rushing water, along with their cars. They talked of running to upper levels in restaurants and shops, escaping out the back to climb ladders and scale fences to get to higher ground.

Emily Frosch, 54, and her husband Mark Riddle, 68, were eating on the second floor of Portalli’s Italian Restaurant when the stormed really picked up. They looked out the window as the waters rose.

A car pulled up, and a woman jumped out, grabbing onto a pole as a brave valet tried to help her, Frosch said. Then the waters took the car, a man still inside.

“The car started to get swept away, and it just kept going,” along with other vehicles, Frosch said. “They looked like little matchbox cars in a bathtub.”

Another car then came by with two people clinging to one of it’s sideview mirrors, Frosch said — a terrifying sight.

Those in the restaurant managed to escape out the back, up onto a deck and then onto St. Paul Street, which is at a higher elevation, Frosch said.

She and her husband, from Columbia, were back in town early Sunday to see if they could get information about their own car, which was also swept away, they said.

“I couldn’t sleep last night because I kept seeing that water,” said Mary-Anne Mulcahy, 61, who was in Horse Spirit Arts Gallery when the flooding began. “It kept coming and coming.”

Mulcahy said the water went from a trickle to a torrent in about 10 minutes, “smashing in the door and pouring in like Niagara Falls.”

She and her wife, Linda Schisler, went up to the third floor with the gallery’s owner to wait it out, but feared the old building would collapse. Eventually, when the water finally stopped and the call to evacuate finally came, they had to climb over mud-covered furniture and other debris to escape the store, she said.

“It was horrific,” she said. “It was like a war zone.”

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