Ellicott City remebers one year after fatal flash flood
ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — Exactly a year ago, Ellicott City saw the deadliest flood it’s seen in decades.
Main Street was devastated when storms dumped six inches of rain in just two hours, taking with it the lives of two people.
“I cried, I really cried, I had to stop watching the news.”, said Kim Cirrani from Hartford County, of the devastation experienced that day.
Now, on the flood’s anniversary, people are amazed to see how quickly the city has bounced back and
excited to see Main Street thriving once more.
Sally Fox Tennant has owned her American crafts store, Discoveries, for 36 years.
On the day the flood happened, she said, “It [the water] first came in from the street, most of it came up here. I think the high water mark up front was about eight feet.”
When the flood hit, Tennant expected the worst.
She said the water filled up the entire basement before making it’s way to the main level, but realizes that things could have been considerably worse.
She said she is beyond grateful for the help that she has received and says without volunteers coming to her aid, things would have turned out much differently..
“I know that I wouldn’t be open without the help of the people who showed up in my life, most of whom started as strangers and will be life long friends.”, said Tennant.
One of those volunteers, Richard Smart, came down with his church to help and says he was meant to be here.
“When we came down here,” he said, ” the first place I ended up was here and just connected with Sally and just kept coming back and coming back because this is where we were supposed to be.”
Meanwhile, just a few doors down sits Joan Eve’s antique shop, run by owner, Joan Ever Shay-Cohen.
She has had her business for over 20 years and moved to a space on Main Street in 2013.
Shay-Cohen says what saved her and a friend that day comes down to a broken air conditioner and some help from above.
She said, “I believe that, that day that air conditioning stopped working at 4:00 because my brother was my guardian angel and had it stop working, because Gary and I are of the same mindset, we would’ve thought it’s just another rain, we’ll move some furniture up and we’ll be fine but there was no way out.”
And just yesterday, a memorial dedication was held to remember the lives lost.
according to Howard county officials over 10 million has gone into repairs and 90 percent of businesses are back up and running.
While great progress has been made, there’s still work to be done.
Tennant said, “These customers and their loyalty, they know and they’re down here and they’re trying to support us because that’s what it’s going to take for the town not just to recover, but to succeed and to thrive.”