BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The one year anniversary of the deadly and destructive flooding in Ellicott City is days away.
The historic flooding washed out numerous homes and businesses, some of which are still in the midst of recovery.
Wednesday, Howard County leaders announced new plans to better defend the city should it ever occur again.
Four major flood prevention projects were announced at a price tag of $18 million.
County leaders stressed that while it will be a major help it’s still not the end-all be-all solution.
The historic flash flooding dismantled businesses, homes and claimed two lives.
The National Weather Service called it a “1,000 Year Flood.”
Six inches of rain fell in just two hours, making for moments like the human chain rescue.
“It started getting up to knee height, moving up forward,” Josh Kudisch said.
Kudisch was working at a now permanently closed restaurant following the flooding.
Like many he’s astounded by how far the city has come after such devastation.
“I know I speak hopefully for everyone when I say we can’t for this town to come back to exactly way it was,” he said.
Damage totals are still being calculated but have been estimated to be in the millions.
Howard County officials said sidewalk, curb, and road damage alone was $11 million.
Rebuilding, repairing, and putting in better defenses against flooding has been the top priority for Howard County leaders.
Howard County officials said they’ve taken a number of steps prevent any serious future flooding like the implementation of boulders, some of which weight up to 4,000 pounds against the channel wall.
“We’re thinking about the future,” Howard County Execututive Allan Kittleman said.
The county executive unveiled the next steps in flood protection.
The projects were carefully chosen and designed to help with water retention and redirection should the city ever experience severe flooding again.
“You know my heart was broken thinking about the people’s lives that have been tremendously shaken,” Kitleman said. “They have inspired me. They have inspired the whole world with what they have done and they have come back and done some things I don’t think anyone ever thought could have happened.”
County leaders said while the measure will significantly help with future flooding it is still important business owners flood-proof their buildings.
During the press conference, county leaders also presented a non-profit group helping affected homeowners with a $50,000 check to help continue their efforts.