By Rick Ritter

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ)—Cleanup continues as Howard County officials prepare to block off access to the flood ravaged Main Street in Ellicott City.

It’s rainfall that quickly left parts of Main Street under water and some fighting just to make it out alive.

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Three weeks ago, mother nature wreaked havoc on Ellicott City killing two people.

“Every day you find something new that you have to address,” said contractor Martin Eveler.

John Shoemaker, who works at Shoemaker Country says, “We had 5 feet of water and mud in our store but my wife and I had 7 feet in my house.”

The city has banded together over the past few weeks filling dumpster after dumpster on Main Street with debris and cleanup, desperately trying to get back to a sense of normalcy.

“We now have a big construction project on our hands, but we can’t forget we also have a lot human needs and I think that’s my job more than anything else,” said Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman.

For the next 3 weeks, access to Main Street will be closed off, with a heavy focus on damage that’s not necessarily visible.

“A lot of is under the ground we need to take this time to be able to update infrastructure and they’ll be putting a whole new gas line in, whole length of main street,” said Kittleman.

Traffic lights still need to be re-wired and sidewalks need to be re-stabilized after parts underneath were washed away.

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And additional rainfall doesn’t make any easier.

“We’ve had several rainfalls, one yesterday did cause a little more problems,” said Kittleman.

While businesses continue to pick up the pieces, they keep praying they’ll be able to re-open.

“There’s a lot of people out there praying and the prayer has really helped me out because it’s hard to get up,” said Charlene Townsend, with Maxine’s Antiques.

“Nothing could stop a 6-inch rainfall in two hours, that one in a thousand flood, but we can certainly make Ellicott City stronger with the smaller rainfall.”

The county executive says some businesses could open right now if they were allowed, others will need months to re-build.

The plan is to have main street back open for pedestrian traffic by September 16th.

A Howard County council meeting is open to the public tonight for an update on the progress of Ellicott City.

Kittleman also signed an executive order on Monday requesting the County Council hold an emergency session to extend the State of Emergency in Ellicott City until September 20.

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Rick Ritter