By Kimberly Eiten

ELLICOTT  CITY, Md. (WJZ) — It’s a race to rebuild in Ellicott City just more than two weeks since flash flooding destroyed homes and businesses.

Two weeks ago, home and business owners couldn’t even get past barriers and onto Main St., but now, county leaders say some are buildings cleaned up and looking at what comes next.

A snapshot of progress, as new pictures from Ellicott City’s Main St. show the clean up 15 days after flash flooding tore through homes and businesses, washing away some almost entirely.

“It’s the business loss that we’re concerned about. It’s tough when you lose your income,” one resident said.

Now, some owners are deciding what to scrap and what to save while working under tents to stay out of the rain.

Others are beginning to rebuild, including the county.

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman says DPW crews are working from the ground up.

“We’re going to focus on continuing the repairs to the street,” Kittleman said. “Hopefully, we can get Main St. open more quickly than we did two years ago.”

That means deciding what comes next.

Retailers are facing down the future and difficult decisions on whether to reopen their stores, move them, or just close up shop.

“I think people feel like they’ve gotten a lot further along than they did two years ago, but it’s still very close and it’s still very difficult to talk about,” Kittleman added. “It’s still very difficult for people to make a decision on where to go forward, and we’re with them on that.”

Kittleman and other county leaders have been meeting with business owners individually as they move forward on what will be a new plan for Ellicott City.

“We just want to work with them to be able to do what they want to do, and figure out this way where we can have this new vision of Ellicott City, where it can be stronger, smarter, and safer,” Kittleman said.

He says for those who choose to rebuild, the next step will be coordinating with the county to get contractors in.

Last week there was already some construction in progress.

For now, Main Street stays closed to the public.

The county says it will coordinate with business owners before re-opening.

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