Clean up begins for homeowners post flash flood in Ellicott City

Ellicott City, Md. — Recovery will come slow as Elliott City business owners and residents along Main Street and Frederick Road get a good idea of the cleanup that lies ahead.

Six inches of rain over the course of three hours Saturday night brought wide spread destruction to homes and businesses in the historic section of town.

On Monday, about 75 business owners got their first look at their properties yet were not able to go inside. Building inspectors are trying to get to each business and assess the damage before allowing those business owners in.

Safety leaders have inspected 200 buildings and found four or five completely destroyed. Another 20 -30 suffered significant damage.

Away from downtown, several homes saw significant water damage.

Dave Calloway tried to keep rushing water from coming into his home on Frederick through the kitchen. He ended up with two feet of water inside his home and watched heavy items like his air conditioner and his wife’s car in the driveway get tossed around by storm water.

Calloway said his home on Frederick is used to seeing flooding but nothing like what he saw Saturday night.

“It breached a rock wall, took the fence out and a brick driveway,” said Calloway.

Calloway said he and his wife finally gave up on trying to save their kitchen from the water and headed upstairs to wait out the flood water.

On Monday, the couple had to get a rental car and start dragging wet and ruined furniture from their home.

It was the same routine for dozens of other families. Ron Peters rents a home on Frederick and spent the day helping a 40-year tenant pick her way through what was destroyed by flood water.

“I just took a tour down to the railroad tracks and back and it was unbelievable to see the devastation— trees inside the buildings,” said Peters.

He said he believes the area needs some long-term help from the county to prevent a repeat flood.

“My thought is more water retainment facilities upstream so when this happens it fills up and holds the water back for a few hours,” said Peters.

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman also mentioned developing a good storm drainage plan for the future during a recovery assistance meeting on Monday.

You can learn more about the help available to storm victims and the response to the destruction by visiting a special website created for storm victims.