ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — It’s been a long night for residents, business owners and first responders in Ellicott City as they assess the damage and begin cleaning up following a catastrophic storm Sunday.Maryland Weather: Severe Storm Threat Prompts Alert Day Saturday
Crews were seen towing cars out of the mud on Main Street and surrounding areas Monday as the shock of Sunday’s storm — not even two years after the last flood in July 2016.
The scene is a disaster zone — trees and lawn furniture shredded in yards and debris in the streets, roads washed away and mud everywhere.
“It’s still a difficult scene down there,” said County Executive Allen Kittleman. “It’s devastating for all of us.”
County officials reported that 1,100 calls came into the 911 call center Sunday and almost 300 citizens were helped by first responders — 20 to 30 of those were water rescues or people trapped in buildings.
“There is no system anywhere that can handle nine inches of rain in such a short period of time,” business owner Kelly Zimmerman said.
Fire crews also responded to two fires; one was a second-alarm fire possibly caused by a lightning strike. The city is also experiencing utility issues on College Avenue and a sewer line was washed out on Bonnie Branch.
Rescue crews are still actively searching waterways for possible victims as well as National Guardsman Eddison Hermond who went missing Sunday during the height of the storm.
Witnesses said the 39-year-old man was helping a woman find her cat in a parking lot behind the restaurant La Palapa when he was swept away. Officials said they are actively looking from Hermond and have searched cars and buildings using technology and search dogs to find him.
Officials also told stories of heroism — including one of a Howard County police officer who almost lost his life trying to help a family evacuate. When the water reached his chest, he was pulled under. He grabbed a staircase railing near the railroad and pulled himself to safety.
But, the police chief said it wasn’t just first responders saving lives. Everyday people saved lives, too, helping neighbors trapped in cars and helping others evacuate.
Ellicott City Partnership says 55 stores, 17 restaurants, salons and other studios that line Main Street, were all subject to the wrath of Mother Nature.READ MORE: Baltimore Police Stepping Up Deployment On Fourth Of July Weekend, Commissioner Says
“Since I told you that was my baby, so I don’t know how could I abandon my baby. That store is my baby, so I have to take care of my baby,” Precious Gifts owner Sun Pacylowski said.
WJZ’s Drone 13 captured what Ellicott City’s damaged looked like from above.
Many residents are still without power and business owners are just beginning to see how the flood damaged their storefronts downtown.
It’s deja vu for them as they only recently began to bounce back from another flash flood in July 2016.
Some business owners aren’t sure if they can rebuild again, especially since officials have said this flood was worse then the last one.
But Ellicott City wasn’t the only community to see flood damage. Parts of Baltimore County and Baltimore City also saw major flooding and are cleaning up Monday as well.
Residents of Frederick Avenue in Baltimore City are also cleaning up Monday after their street, homes and cars flooded.
In Baltimore County, officials are still assessing damage, where parts of Dundalk and Catonsville flooded Sunday.
Catonsville saw more than 10 inches of rain — more than Ellicott City.
Three people were rescued Sunday afternoon from a rock in the middle of the Gunpowder River.
According to officials, no one has been reported missing in Baltimore County and no serious injuries have been reported.
Officials say Main Street business owners will have 10 minutes to view their damaged properties Tuesday at 8 a.m.
Owners can receive passes to pick up things from their stores at the George Howard Building.MORE NEWS: State Police Expand Traffic Enforcement On I-83 In Baltimore City