Ellicott City will recover from the devastating flooding that killed two people and damaged Main Street this weekend, said local and state officials Monday morning.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in Howard County on Sunday after six inches of rain fell in two hours on Saturday night, causing the Patapsco River to gush through streets. A 35-year-old woman and 38-year-old man were killed, Baltimore County police said.
Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said at a news conference Monday morning that the city 14 miles west of Baltimore will bounce back. He spoke about residents' perseverance and determination.
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"We're going to make sure Elliott City rises up as a stronger, more vibrant place," he said.
"We will rebuild," he continued.
Kittleman praised the community spirit shown in a dramatic video of people linking hands to form a human chain so they could save a woman from the rushing waters.
"That human chain [video] has gone around the world five or six times already," he said. "People know that whenever people in a community would do that for their neighbors, or even for strangers, they will not let this storm defeat us."
Video shot from Chopper4 Monday morning shows flipped cars, broken roads and downed utility poles.
Local and state officials are working to request federal emergency funds, Sen. Barbara Mikulski said at the news conference.
"We're working as Team Maryland from every level of government," he said.
The funding, if approved, would help rebuild infrastructure and help business owners.
Business owner Geniese Brown said she was overwhelmed.
"It's just devastating to see some of the businesses that are totally gone. Totally gone. I don't even know where to start," she said.
St. Luke African Methodist Episcopal Church will evaluate whether there was structural damage to the church that has stood on Main Street since 1879.
Rev. Joan King said she was "devastated" and asked members of the congregation to pray for the church.
"I just don't know what to do or where we're going to turn to next," she said.
Crews inspected about 200 properties on Sunday and determined that four or five had been destroyed, the county executive said in a statement. Another 20 to 30 properties suffered substantial damage.
Residents affected by the flooding are invited to attend an information session from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Monday at the 50+ Center at 9411 Frederick Road.
The police department towed 180 vehicles off Main Street and surrounding areas, officials said. The cars have been relocated to Centennial High School. Another 20 cars will be removed from the river.
The tap water is safe to drink, officials say. If it appears cloudy, let it run until it is clear.