Brown water raced through Ellicott City's main street, tipping buildings and ripping up cars. In some areas, water levels reached over the first floor of buildings, said Howard County Fire and EMS.
For Ellicott City and Catonsville, a distress call is in effect until 10.30pm. Up to six inches of rain have fallen into the area so far, and another cell capable of tilting two to four inches is coming in from the west.
Just before 8:00 pm, a Howard County sheriff's employee was taken to a CNN crew and others in the area for a suspected gas leak.
Howard County Fire and EMS compared the situation in 2016 with a tidal wave that killed two people and forced Ellicott City to rebuild.
Several rescues are underway. Howard County Fire and EMS urged residents to evacuate to the city center or move to higher areas while rescue teams swarmed the area. No injuries were reported.
The Roger Carter Community Center is open to those in need of shelter.
The National Weather Service issued a lightning high-water warning for Howard County around noon. At 1
Hogan said he was on his way there.