ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — It has been 11 days since water tore through Ellicott City, destroying homes and business – and clean-up is far from over as people continue to dig out from a thick layer of mud and debris.
Clean-up efforts crisscrossed Main Street Wednesday night after a river of murky water swept away businesses in historic Ellicott City on May 27.
Livelihoods and windows were shattered, wiping away the entire front wall of the old Caplan’s department store and crusting other shops in a thick layer of mud.
Armed with a face mask and a five-gallon bucket, Tyler Zabriskie helped muck out Tea on the Tiber.
“I don’t want to imagine what it could be, but it’s all sorts of mud and yuck,” Zabriskie said.
[Reporter: Bucket by bucket.]
“Bucket by bucket,” he replied.
Zabriskie used to work at the shop. Now he’s donating his time, like so many others.
“Looking at the other businesses around here, everyone’s feeling it and everyone’s having to make tough decisions,” Zabriskie said.
Amid the clean-up, people discussed who will rebuild and who won’t.
For now, most are focused on saving what they can and scrapping the rest.
“I think right now, most business owners would tell you they’re weeks ahead of schedule from where they were two years ago,” Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said.
That’s due in part to being practiced in natural disaster following deadly flooding in 2016.
Kittleman said Main Street will come back, but how is the question county leaders are still trying to answer.
“We’ll continue to be a strong city and we’re going to have a great place for people to live work and play here for another 250 years, but it might look a little different,” Kittleman said.
The county still has a resource center open at the Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services Ellicott City 50+ Center at 9401 Frederick Road, which is running for those hardest hit.