United States Floods: Historic Maryland town ravaged by floodwaters, 2 dead
Washington(AP): Historic, low-lying Ellicott City, Maryland, was ravaged by floodwaters, killing two people and causing devastating damage to homes and businesses, officials have said.Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman told The Associated Press by phone that the body of a man had been recovered, along with a woman’s body that was recovered yesterday. Both were found in the Patapsco River. Everyone else had been accounted for, he said.
The town, about 14 miles west of Baltimore, received 6.5 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service, and most of it fell Saturday evening between 7 pm and 9 pm (local time). Videos posted on social media showed floodwaters rushing down the town’s Main Street, which slopes toward the river, and sweeping away cars.
Some vehicles came to rest on top of each other. In one video posted to the Facebook page of a Main Street art gallery, several people can be seen forming a human chain to rescue a woman from a car that was being swept down the street. One of the victims was a pedestrian who was swept away by floodwaters, and the other was carried downstream after abandoning a stranded vehicle along with another person, who survived, police chief Gary Gardner told reporters at a news conference.
Kittleman said the devastation was the worst he’d seen in 50 years living in the county, including Hurricane Agnes in 1972, which caused the river to overflow its banks. Virtually every home or business along Main Street sustained at least some damage, and the cost of repairs could reach the hundreds of millions of dollars, he said.
“It looks like the set of a disaster movie,” said Kittleman, a Republican. “Cars everywhere, cars on top of cars, parts of the road are gone, many parts of the sidewalk are gone, storefronts are completely gone.” Governor Larry Hogan toured the damaged area yesterday along with Kittleman and Republican Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who has an office in the town. Hogan declared a state of emergency, which will allow greater aid coordination and assistance.
“No one has ever seen devastation like this in Ellicott City or anywhere in Howard County,” Kittleman said. “There are a lot of businesses that are going to be hurting for a long time. There are a lot of people that lost their apartments and their homes.”
Johnny Breidenbach, the owner and chef of Johnny’s Bistro on Main, said he closed his restaurant around 7:30 Saturday night, before the worst of the flooding, and he hadn’t been able to get back there to assess the damage.http://www.people24x7.org/united-states-floods-historic-maryland-town-ravaged-by-floodwaters-2-dead/GENERAL