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Home / US / Flooding from Ellicott City, Maryland: Officials judge destruction, looking for missing people

Flooding from Ellicott City, Maryland: Officials judge destruction, looking for missing people



ELLICOTT CITY, Md. – After flash-flops had thrown cars down Main Street in historic Ellicott City Maryland, local officials said they were heartbroken to see the community so badly damaged again when two years after a devastating flood killed two people and caused millions of damage. CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues reports that Howard County officials confirm it misses a person.

The missing man was identified as Edison Hermond, about 30 years old.

When the tide receded late on Sunday, officials began the grim task of assessing the destruction.

During an evening news conference, Howard County Director Allan Kittleman said authorities know no deaths or missing people. But first responders and rescue workers were still passing through the dirty, damaged downtown, carrying out security checks and ensuring that people were evacuated.

  Maryland Flash Flooding

Water crashes through Main Street at Ellicott City, Md., Sunday, May 27, 2018. Flash floods and water rescues are reported in Maryland as heavy rains keep much of the state in check.

Libby Solomon / The Baltimore Sun via AP

Kittleman said the damage was significant and that he was worse off than the flood two years ago.

Residents and business owners, Kittleman said, "are facing the same daunting task again."

"We are there for you as we were in 2016," he said.

Gov. Larry Hogan also visited the area and promised "every bit of support we possibly can."

"They say this is a tidal wave of 1000 years, and we had two of them in two years," said Hogan. 19659002] Flood Sunday drove off parked cars in Ellicott City on the western shore of the Patapsco River in Maryland and about 20 kilometers west of Baltimore

Jessica Ur, server at the Pure Wine Cafe on the Main on City Street, told the Baltimore Sun she was watching how the water swept three or four parked cars down the street.

"It's significantly higher than before," she told the newspaper and compared the floods with those of 2016. [196592002] Mike Muccilli, a weather forecaster at the National Weather Service in Sterling, Virginia, said it was too early to Draw comparisons between the two floods. But he said that both were devastating.

In July 2016, Ellicott City received 6.6 inches (17 inches) of rain within two to three hours. On Sunday, the community received nearly 20.32 inches of rain over a six-hour period, but most of it fell during an intense three-hour period, Muccilli said.

"During a Normal Heavy Rain Event You would not see that amount of flooding where you see cars floating down the street," Muccilli said. "This was a true tidal wave."

Some people reported hearing an alarm during the flood. Others said they gathered in the second story of a building to watch anxiously the seething water. A sight during the flood: A handmade, white flag hung from an upper floor of a building of the main street with the letters SOS.

"If you're trapped, here we come," tweeted the Howard County Fire and Rescue Department at one point.

Ellicott City has rebuilt since the 2016 flooded damaged and destroyed businesses. Local officials said recently that 96 percent of the companies were back in business and reopened more than 20 new stores on Main Street.

Just two weeks ago, Hogan announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has given the state and county more than $ 1 million for projects to reduce flood risk in the area around Main Street.

Some are already asking questions about whether enough has been done after the last flood to prevent a similar catastrophe.

Hogan said temporary There have been improvements and further action has been taken to reduce the community's vulnerabilities. But he said that big changes take time, and no one expected such a big flood so soon after 2016.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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