Advertisement

Massive flash floods ravage Ellicott City, Maryland, two years after ‘1,000-year’ storm

One man, who was helping rescue people as the flooding struck, has been declared missing.

Vehicles washed into a pile behind a building in historic Ellicott City as flood waters raged through its streets following torrential thunderstorms in Elliott City, Maryland on May 27, 2018. (CREDIT: Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Vehicles washed into a pile behind a building in historic Ellicott City as flood waters raged through its streets following torrential thunderstorms in Elliott City, Maryland on May 27, 2018. (CREDIT: Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

In 2016, Ellicott City, Maryland was struck by a flood so bad it became known as the “1,000-year flood.” On Sunday, only two years later, it happened again.

According to reporters in the city, which lies approximately 12 miles west of Baltimore, flood waters rushed through the streets, reaching as high as stop signs and ravaging first-floor homes and storefronts. The water swept up cars and large debris as it made its way through town.

Jessica Ur, a waitress in the city, told The Baltimore Sun this year’s flood’s were even worse than those in 2016.

“It’s significantly higher than it was before,” she said.

Ellicott City was left in darkness Sunday night, as the flooding knocked out power.

The 2016 floods left two people dead, and some have begun to fear the worst this time as well: officials reported that one man, Edison Hermond, approximately 30 years old, is missing after Sunday’s flooding. According to witnesses, Hermond was reportedly helping rescue people stuck in the flood waters when he was “swept away.”

Advertisement

Social media posts from people who said they were Hermond’s friends identified him as an Air Force veteran currently serving in the National Guard.

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said Sunday night that emergency workers were “making every effort to locate that individual.”

Officials have said they aren’t aware of any fatalities as of Sunday evening, but first responders and rescue officials are still working through downtown and conducting safety checks. Thirty rescues were carried out through Monday morning, they said.

Advertisement

As the Washington Post noted Monday morning, the flooding in Ellicott City is not the direct result of climate change, but rather a result of an environment drastically affected by climate change, in which these kinds of storms can occur.

“Notably, the water vapor content of the atmosphere, as a whole, has increased and scientific studies have shown a statistically meaningful uptick in the frequency of extreme rain events over the eastern United States,” Jeff Halverson wrote for the Post. “Statistically, over the long term, these types of extreme floods are likely becoming more common, in areas that are normally rainy, due to global warming.”

For those who wish to offer assistance to people affected by the flood, The Howard County Food Bank in Columbia, Maryland will be accepting water, cleaning supplies, flashlights and other donations Monday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Additionally, the nonprofit Ellicott City Partnership, which raised more than $1.85 million after the floods in 2016, is accepting donations for residents, property owners, and businesses in need.