COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — It’s been almost two months since a gas explosion leveled a Howard County shopping center.

Now, crews are beginning the hard work of trying to figure out how this happened, and where to go from here.

“Employers are now getting back to us with their space needs so that we can help match them with temporary locations,” Howard County Executive Calvin Ball said.

22 businesses are now in limbo while they wait for more information.

One tenant said that the investigations have been stalled up until now.

“It’s shocking, the lack of communication and support we are getting,” she said. “To drive by the building and to see that it looks the same as the day it exploded is heartbreaking.”

Howard County officials said that these are matters between the landlord, Holland Properties out of Pennsylvania, and its tenants.

WJZ reached out to Holland Properties and have not yet heard back.

Right now, there is no concern for immediate structure collapse, but the county continues to list the building as unsafe.

In a statement, BGE said, “A number of companies, along with Howard County, the Public Service Commission, property owners, insurance companies, BGE and other utilities are working at the scene [Tuesday] as the investigation continues at Stanford Ave.”

While some businesses have been able to find temporary space, others like Mango Grove Restaurant have been out of business for months.

“BGE and property managers should consider restitution for all affected parties and work diligently toward ensuring each business serving this community comes back stronger and better than ever,” Mango Grove Restaurant owner Rohit Chawla said.

The county said that in order to make the site completely safe, the building would have to be demolished or repaired.

BGE has not yet been able to provide a timeline for how long the investigation is going to take.

Rachel Menitoff

Comments

Leave a Reply