ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Saturday marks one year since a historic flood swept through Ellicott City, gutting dozens of businesses along Main Street and killing two people.
The anniversary comes with both a celebration of the city’s rebirth and a remembrance of the lives that were lost.
We’ve watched a great deal of progress as Ellicott City hit major milestones along the way, and now, Ellicott City is back.
The crowds of people shopping, eating and enjoying a summer stroll down Main Street, which has been a long time coming.
“The people of Ellicott City were hit with probably the biggest punch you could ever imagine,” says Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman.
On July 30, 2016, torrential rain gushed down Main Street. A thousand-year flood throwing cars like toys and gutting nearly every building in its path.
Two people lost their lives that night – dozens lost their homes and businesses.
One year ago, businesses were caked with mud, nearly swept away — but the months of work it took to get here weren’t easy.
“We are all so much closer than we were a year ago because we were in the mud together. And I can’t thank our community enough for what they did for us,” says Heather Gaetano, with Ellicott City Partnership Board.
With help from state and local government – and a lot of determination 90% of businesses are back up and running.
“We had a ribbon-cutting after ribbon-cutting that we’re opening and opening. I would love to know just how much ribbon has been cut over the last year,” says Tom Coale.
On Saturday, the clock tower, the symbol of Ellicott City, was rededicated. It’s become a symbol of resilience for a town that refused to fail.
“We were a great town a year ago, and we are a magic town now,” says Gaetano.