BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s been six months since a deadly flood ravaged Ellicott City.
A commemorative ceremony was held to mark the milestone at the Howard County Tourism Center on Main Street Monday.
Two people were killed and homes and businesses all along the historic Main Street were destroyed. The property damage amounted to around $22.4 million.
A family-run furniture store, Shoemaker Country, was one of the causalities.
“There was five feet of water in here and probably six to eight inches of mud,” John Shoemaker says. “It took us probably three weeks to get everything cleaned out.”
But now, the community and its leaders are focused on progress.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the residents and businesses and property owners here,” says Howard County Executive Alan Kittleman.
“They have really picked themselves up from something a lot of people wouldn’t have been able to do so.”
Adam Feldman, chair of the EC Recovery Project, says “it’s sad that it takes a tragedy to do this, but the outcome of it has been truly a community that has come together, rallied together and become a family.”
If you walk down Main Street today, you can see many businesses that vowed to rebuild, made good on their promise. Others decided to relocate or close for good.
The Ellicott City Partnership tells WJZ 90 businesses had to close due to the flood damage. Seventy-three of those have reopened and two new businesses have set up shop.
“The 15 years that we’ve been here have been really, really good to us,” Shoemaker says. “Love Ellicott City. Low the town and there’s a lot of people looking for us to come back.”
Kittleman says there are plans in the works on how to be better prepared for future floods.
According to the EC Partnership, they’ve received contributions to rebuild from all over the world, as far away as Germany and Ireland.