ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — As Hurricane Isaias moves up the East Coast toward Maryland, officials in flood-prone Ellicott City are gearing up for the possibility of more high water.

Isaias is expected to bring between three and six inches of rain to central Maryland, with some spots picking up even more.

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It will be a significant test for the community’s flood systems, which were installed in the wake of the devastating 2016 and 2018 floods. Heavy rains on June 22 triggered flood alarms in the region’s historic downtown for the first time.

Still, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball said the community is ready for what Mother Nature could throw its way.


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“We’ve already been working on having high ground access points and signage, so while we are still going to have to endure a storm… we are well prepared,” he said.

Parking restrictions in Historic Ellicott City were set to take effect at 11 p.m. Monday and last until 11 p.m. Tuesday. County officials urged residents and business owners in low-lying areas to move their vehicles to Lot G or the courthouse lot and secure all loose items that could wash away.

Should flash flooding occur, alert sirens will sound.

In addition, Howard County has opened three of its community centers overnight and during the day on Tuesday for those in need of a safe place to go. The sites include:

  • North Laurel Community Center: 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, Laurel
  • Roger Carter Community Center: 3000 Milltowne Drive, Ellicott City
  • Gary J. Arthur Community Center: 2400 Maryland Route 97, Cooksville
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