BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After two months of cleanup, Ellicott City flood victims are entering the next phase of recovery- disaster loans.

Tuesday, three Disaster Loan Outreach Centers opened their doors to help business and homeowners reach out for low-interest loans. Disaster loan of up to $2 million are available for business owners, and up to $200,000 for homeowners.

Applications are due September 24.

“It can’t be soon enough, if you ask the small business owner or the homeowner. It can’t be soon enough,” Steve Umberger, the Maryland District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, said.

On May 27th, torrential rains became an unstoppable wall of murky water, tearing down Main Street.

The flood destroyed storefronts, drowned even second-floor apartments, and killed one person. It left a wake of epic destruction for the second time in the just two years.

60 businesses along Main Street have already reopened their doors. But more than a dozen have decided they’re gone for good.

“Things have not been going as quickly as they were back in 2016. I think a lot of people were waiting for this week, to have some of the resources available, that we have available now, to help them make the difficult decision of if, when, and how to recover,”  Steve Watts, the Flood Recovery Manager for Howard County, said.

Watts said, this week, three other opportunities for aid are available, including loans from the Community Foundation for Howard County.

$800,000 from the Community Foundation, United Way of Central Maryland, and Ellicott City Partnership will be distributed to businesses, nonprofits organizations, and property owners.

Applications are available online or at the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Ellicott City.

In addition, the Department of Housing and Community Development is issuing grants, loans, and forgiveness of some past loans.

Meanwhile, the Department of Emergency Management is keeping a close watch on the weather as rebuilding continues.

Watts said, “We’re keeping a close eye on things. As you know, the ground is supersaturated. We’ve had a lot of rain in the second half of July. But trust me, we’re watching every time we get a rain event.”

Help with the loan application process is available at three locations:

  • The Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum / 3711 Maryland Ave, Ellicott City
  • Catonsville Senior Center / 501 North Rolling Road, Catonsville
  • Stillmeadow Evangelical Free Church / 5110 Frederick Ave, Baltimore

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