Ellicott City, a county in Maryland, has declared a state of emergency, after 6.04 inches of rain fell on Saturday night, leaving at least one dead.
Andy Barth, a representative of Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman, confirmed one death and two missing at 9:20 a.m. Over a hundred people had to be rescued, he added. The rain swept cars and debris all over the city, whose gas and water services had to be shut down to avoid further damages. Witnesses sheltered in restaurants reported seeing people being carried away by the running waters.
Six inches of rain fell in under five minutes
The Main Street area remained closed for vehicles on Sunday as Governor Larry Hogan arrived at the city to review the damages. He stated: “I wanted to come by and see it first hand so I could know what kind of assistance was needed. I’m going to thank some of these guys that have been working all night.”
Hogan praised the county’s civil services for their rapid response concerning the flood. The governor has declared a state of emergency in the county. It would allow Ellicott City’s administration to obtain state resources to deal with the flood’s aftermath.
Mindfulness about rescuing others
Many had to wait for rescue in the roof of their cars. Police have issued statements concerning safety measures for Ellicott City residents. If residents see standing water, the chances are that it is too deep for cars to drive through.
Police department spokesman Donny Moses referred to the danger of performing rescue procedures without preparation. He stressed that it is the duty of police officers and firefighters to help people in need.
“People who decide to take chances not only put themselves at risk but also the people who rescue them in danger. That’s what we do gladly, but you got to consider more than just yourself. Safety is for everyone,” Moses stated.
Some residents have taken advantage of social media to organize donation supply lines to help tidy up the remains of the flood. Hundreds of shops and restaurants were severely damaged.
Witness Courtney Weglein went to Ellicott City on Saturday night to have dinner with her friends. She said that torrential rains fell during five minutes. Some people started to panic while others helped those affected in the area.
According to The Weather Channel, the Patapsco River rose to a record height of 13 feet as it was measured by the river’s gauges, located near Elkridge. Many people were reported to be trapped inside their vehicles along Interstate 83, which became partially flooded due to Saturday night’s downpour.
While Ellicott City has been ranked as the second best place to live in America by Money magazine, it appears that it does not go unnoticed when it comes to the catastrophic flash floods that can decimate buildings and cars from one day to another.
Here, walk down a bit of Old Ellicott City's flood ravaged Main St with me: pic.twitter.com/BX1bRTA0sZ
— Kevin Rector (@RectorSun) July 31, 2016