ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Many Ellicott City residents and business owners got a first look at the destruction left behind following flash flooding in Howard County on Sunday.

Howard County officials allowed restricted, credentialed access to Main Street in Ellicott City for business owners, residents and property owners Tuesday.

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People were allowed to document damage and retrieve only essential items that can be personally carried. Officials say each visit was limited to a maximum of 10 minutes. Not all properties were accessible for entry due to structural and safety concerns.

Storms over the weekend left destruction less than two years after the area was slammed by flooding.

Memories are still fresh for residents and business owners like Marry Anne Medeiros.

“The last time, we couldn’t get in for seven weeks,” said Medeiros, owner of Salon Marielle.

The flash flooding Sunday tore away the bottom of her salon.

“Our front steps were of course gone, but it’s not a matter of that, it’s a matter of getting back into town again,” Medeiros said.

[Reporter: You’re planning to come back this time?]

“I don’t know,” she replied.

For business owners willing to take a third chance on Ellicott City, county and state leaders have promised help to clean and recover.

Jason McMillan says his record store will be one of them.

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“My inventory is completely waterlogged and covered in mud and whatever, but salvaging what I can,” said McMillan, owner of The Archive.

He said he knew the damage would be catastrophic

McMillan sheltered inside as water raged outside and debris dangerously piled up.

“We had to break through a wall on the upper level, and then they got us out through a building that was next to us,” McMillan said.

He won’t say it, but McMillan saved lives. Now, he wants to help save businesses.

McMillan said his priority will be rebuilding with neighbors — a lesson he says he learned in the 2016 floods.

“It’s what I wish I would have done last time,” he said.

The county has opened a resource center 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.

The center offers assistance such as a place to stay and help to replace vital documents like birth certificates.

Howard County tweeted about residents and property owners being able to bring their vehicles to access Main Street on Wednesday.

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