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Two Fatalities After Flash Flood in Maryland State of Emergency Declared

1 Aug 2016, 10:51 am

CouuUqUW8AApxW_Governor Larry Hogan signed an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency in Howard County beginning Sunday, July 31 at 10 a.m. in response to severe thunderstorms that occurred overnight and early this morning. The thunderstorms caused extensive damage to property and infrastructure in the central part of the state, including intense flooding in the historic town of Ellicott City. The Executive Order will allow the state to efficiently coordinate support and provide additional assistance to Howard County.

The governor declared the State of Emergency from Howard County, where he is meeting with local officials and citizens in Ellicott City, and surveying the damage caused by recent flooding.

The Hogan administration has asked state agencies to respond to the effects of this storm, including the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, which has increased its activation level and is coordinating resource requests received from Howard County.

Two people were swept away and killed in the floodwaters Saturday night in Howard county, Maryland, after devastating flood waters swept through Saturday night. Howard county remains under a state of emergency.

Nerly six inches of rain fell in Ellicott City, MD, within a three hour period. This is more than an entire months worth of rain for the area.

The copious amount of rain caused a historic flash flood which claimed two lives and significantly damaged or destroyed over 20 buildings in the historic district. Ellicott City sits just outside of Baltimore, MD.

During the height of the flood, rescue crews saved over 80 people that were trapped in their cars and an additional 40 were rescued from the Phoenix Emporium.

The bodies of Jessica Watsula, 35, and Joseph Anthony Blevins, 38, were recovered after they were killed in two separate incidents Saturday night.

The Patapsco River in Ellicott city observed a rise of over 13 feet Saturday evening. Two river gauges recorded record crests downstream from Ellicott City, near Catonsville and Elkridge.

It’s the worst flooding in recent memory for those living in Ellicott City– worse than the flood of 1972 when Agnes tracked over the area. The area has historically been prone to flooding as it sits in the Tiber river valley with the Patapsco river nearby.

Main street Ellicott remains in disrepair as crews are working to clean up debris.

“We are urging the public to please stay away from the Main Street area in Ellicott City,” said Allan Kittleman, county executive for Howard county. “Overnight, the police department towed 180 vehicles from Main Street, parking lots and the river. Those cars have been relocated to Centennial High School on Centennial Lane. With the cars removed, Monday’s focus will be debris removal.”

Members of the Howard County Fire Department performed secondary searches of properties where they sprayed an orange “X” on the properties. Crews are trying to preserve the historic architecture so they are spraying the “X” on windows versus the granite services.

Officials urge those to stay away from the downtown area as cleanup efforts are underway.

Video from the ground

A video posted by TOO SIX (@too_six_oec) on

A video posted by TOO SIX (@too_six_oec) on

A video posted by TOO SIX (@too_six_oec) on

Headline image: Howard County Gov’t

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