ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Monday night presented its findings from its review of Howard County’s flood mitigation plans in the wake of two devastating floods that washed through Ellicott City.

Residents of historic Ellicott City remember the devastation well — two 1,000-year floods ravaged the community in 2016 and 2018, flooding dozens of businesses and killing three people.

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Monday night, some of those residents joined county officials to see the corps’ review of the county’s plans.

“We performed an independent review, we provided some advantages some challenges for each of the measures we evaluated,” said Andrew Leyman with the corps.

Since the floods, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball said the county has been working on a mitigation plan that includes removing debris and building retention ponds.

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“What I heard is that they feel the plan is sound and the interventions we are implementing will actually reduce significant floodwaters along Main Street,” Ball said.

The team of engineers performed an independent review of nearly 60 flood risk management alternatives, including flood diversion tunnels, upstream storage and floodplain modification. They then presented their review to residents, offering further suggestions like building structures to hold back peak flood flows.

Liz Larney, an area resident who lost a friend during the 2018 flood, said the plan “has to be solid.”

“I think if they move forward with all the aspects of the plan, the plan will work; however, they have to look at all the pieces and not simply just downtown Ellicott City,” Larney said.

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County officials said they plan to take the corps’ recommendations into consideration.

Kelsey Kushner