ELLICOTT CITY, Md, (WJZ) — It’s been more than a month since Ellicott City was pummeled with rainfall, it what turned out to be a deadly flash flooding event.
On Tuesday, the National Weather Service released rainfall totals from the May 27 storm — just two years after the last devastating storm.
The numbers are astonishing — at one point 1.5 inches of rain fell in just 15 minutes.
For some, the flooding in May was like something out of a movie, but for those in Ellicott City it was their worst nightmare all over again and some are still cleaning up.
“It was deja vu all over, been there,” said Brenda Franz, owner of Attic Antiques N Things.
NWS said the town received six to 12 inches of rain during the heaviest band of rainfall.
“This is certainly a rare storm. We had two rounds of heavy rainfall in such a short period of time. Between 3:20 and 4:20, we had 2.68 inches of rain. Then, between 5 and 6, 2.84 inches of rain” said WJZ’s Meg McNamara.
On Monday night, firefighters found the post of the iconic city clock that was washed away.
Despite the numbers, some businesses are ready to reopen for business.
“The people in this city are great. They’re inspiring and really, it’s important for us to move quick, because another rain storm like that could come.” said Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman.
Other business owners like Brenda Franz are still struggling to rebuild.
Franz said she’s dealing with mold and mud in her basement and has been told it needs to be demolished.
“I said last time that I wouldn’t go through this cleanup process again. Here I am, two years later, with a bucket in hand, she said.
Franz said the night of the storm, she had customers in her store as it started to rain and she told them to get home. She thought she could wait it out, but the storm took a devastating turn.
“I saw cars floating by and then the giant dumpster floated by like it was a little plastic toy. I kept climbing my floors and then when I got to the third floor, I called my husband and told him that I may not make it home tonight, but I do hope I’m lucky enough to make it home at some point” she said.
Franz was eventually rescued by firefighters. It surprised her to hear the rainfall totals from the NWS because living through it, it seemed like much more.
“I thought it would be much more because it was coming down so hard and so quick,” she said.
Kittleman said the focus is on not only reviving Ellicott City but making sure it’s redesigned to last.
“We’re going to have a better idea of how we can better mitigate and better plan to transform Ellicott City into a place so it can be thriving for another 250 years,” he said.
Kittleman said the mitigation projects, some of which were in the works before the 2016 flood, could take a few more years to complete.
Just days ago, President Donald Trump approved a disaster declaration for Maryland which covers parts of Ellicott City damaged by the storm.
To read the full NWS service report, click here.