2018 Maryland flood

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2018 Maryland flood
DateMay 27, 2018
LocationMaryland, United States
Death(s)1[1]
Property damage“Building damage and cars washed away”
Hydrograph of Patapsco River near Elkridge at Patapsco Valley State Park
Purple: Major Flood Stage; Red: Moderate Flood Stage; Orange: Flood Stage; Yellow: Action Stage;

On the afternoon of May 27, 2018, after receiving over 8 inches (20 cm) of rain in the span of two hours, historic Main Street in Ellicott City, Maryland flooded[2] again days before the new flood emergency alert system was to become operational.[3][4] Flooding occurred throughout the Patapsco Valley in the adjacent communities of Catonsville, Arbutus, and Elkridge, as well as the Jones Falls Valley in Baltimore.[5]

Previously, Ellicott City was submerged during the 2016 Maryland flood, an event once to considered to be an oddity that happens every one thousand years[6]. These floods occurred only less than two years since the city was previously flooded.

The flooding gave a significant amount of damage to Ellicott City. The streets were covered in water, buildings collapsed, and cars were being swept along the submerged roads.[7] The flooding claimed one life of a National Guardsman.

Since the floods, the state and local governments have desperately tried to pick up the pieces by signing legislations to demolish some buildings in the historic district.

History and Previous Floods[edit]

Ellicott City, Maryland was founded in 1772. Ellicott city was build just along the Patapsco River and is located about 30 minutes west of Baltimore. This town is the site of the Tiber River along with its other tributaries that connect with it.[8] Because of this, Ellicott City is very vulnerable to severe flooding. In 1868, three casualties occurred in a flood.[8]

There was another flood that ripped through the historic district in on July 30, 2016. The deaths of two people and the destruction of 6 buildings were the results of this event.[9] As a result of the flood, Maryland governor Larry Hogan requested that the federal government to act in on reconstruction after he toured the recovery efforts with Howard County Executive, Allan H. Kittleman. [9]

Flood event[edit]

On Sunday May 27, 2018, a massive storm released nearly two months of rain, over 9.71 inches (24.7 cm) in between 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. on the Ellicott City area with temperatures around 70 degrees farhenheit, causing catastrophic flooding in the surrounding area, which swept away several roads, cars and brought more than 10 feet (3.0 m) of rapidly moving water down Main Street in Old Ellicott City. These flash floods occurred because the historic district was an urban area, and the land could not contain the falling precipitation. Therefore, the streets of Ellicott City had to deal with runoff from the fallen water. A large portion of southbound Route 29 flooded several feet and heavy rains and rapidly rising water washed away portions of several roads[10].[11][7][12][4] [13]

Funeral of Eddison Hermond, attended by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and other dignitaries

Howard County officials reported at least 30 water rescues and one missing person as a result of the storm.[14]

The National Weather Service reported rainfall totals in excess of 10 inches (25 cm) in several areas, with Catonsville receiving the highest at 10.38 inches (26.4 cm) and Ellicott City receiving 8.40 inches (21.3 cm).[15]

According to meteorologists, the storm was "likely worse" than the 2016 Maryland flood because Ellicott City received only 5 inches of rain on July 30, 2016.[13][16] That is almost half of the amount in comparison with the 2018 flood.

One person was reported missing after helping a local business owner who was trapped by rising water after he was swept away by the current. Active recovery efforts were underway as of May 28th and were suspended on May 29th after his body was recovered in the Patapsco River. The missing man was identified as Sgt. Eddison A. Hermond, 39, a National Guard member and U.S. Air Force veteran.[1][17]

Surrounding rivers[edit]

The Patapsco River, just southeast of Ellicott City broke a record in terms of water level because it experienced a 17-foot (5.2 m) increase in water.[18][7]

Aftermath[edit]

On May 28, Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency.[4]

Since the flood, the Howard County government have tried to come up with solutions to make sure that flash flooding in the historic district does not happen again in the future.There is a recovery website dedicated to the flood set up by the Howard County government.[19] Howard County executive Allan H. Kittleman signed a bill meaning that 13 historic buildings will be cleared and demolished from the city. The plan is funded at 50 million dollars and will take 5 years to complete.[20]

The plan to demolish these historic buildings cannot come without obstacles. The Historic Preservation Commission must grant authorization for Howard County to receive a permit to raze the structures. The Maryland Department of the Environment would also need to give the county permits for waterways and non-tidal wetlands. [20] The United States Army Corps of Engineers would also be involved in this process. The rate of approval from them is extended because the main goal is about demolishing buildings in a historic district which is placed on the National Register of Historic Places. This means that the final results of the plan could change that criteria that would fit Ellicott City on the National Register of Historic Places, so officials from the United States Army Corps of engineers would need to check if that is the case.[20]

Howard County executive-elect Calvin Ball III is against this whole plan of demolishing the buildings from the historic district because he thinks the idea of demolishing historic buildings is wrong.[6]


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Tkacik, Christina; Meehan, Sarah (May 29, 2018). "National Guardsman's heroism in Ellicott City flood recalled as 'the most Eddie thing ever'". The Baltimore Sun.
  2. ^ Samenow, Jason; Fritz, Angela (May 27, 2018). "A catastrophic flash flood event underway in Ellicott City — the second in two years". The Washington Post.
  3. ^ Magill, Kate (May 21, 2018). "High-tech flood monitoring planned for Ellicott City watershed". Columbia Flier. Retrieved May 27, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Grinberg, Emanuella; DiGiacomo, Janet (May 27, 2018). "Flash floods again rip through Ellicott City, Maryland; 1 missing". CNN.
  5. ^ Campbell, Colin (May 27, 2018). "Flooding prompts rescues, evacuations throughout Baltimore region". The Baltimore Sun.
  6. ^ a b Gonzalez, John (26 November 2018). "Ellicott City undergoing restoration project to prevent potential flooding". ABC. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Lada, Brian (May 29, 2018). "Catastrophic flash flood strikes Ellicott City, Maryland; Body of missing National Guardsman found". AccuWeather.
  8. ^ a b Richardson, Sarah (February 2019). American History. 1600 Tysons Boulevard Suite 1140, Tysons, Virginia, United States: World History Group, LLC. p. 10.
  9. ^ a b Cox, Erin (14 August 2016). "Federal loan applications open for Ellicott City Governor announces availability for victims of last month's flood Maryland Public TV film to showcase Ellicott City Leadership Essentials offers informational events MakingChange hosts free financial workshops". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  10. ^ "Baltimore-Washington International, MD - History". Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  11. ^ "FLOOD WARNING EXTENDED: Water Rescues Underway". WBFF. Associated Press. May 27, 2018.
  12. ^ Mele, Christopher; Baumgaertner, Emily (May 27, 2018). "One Missing After Flash Flooding Rages Through Community Near Baltimore". The New York Times.
  13. ^ a b Halverson, Jeff (28 May 2018). "The second 1,000-year rainstorm in two years engulfed Ellicott City. Here's how it happened.: The waterlogged weather pattern, Ellicott City's flood-prone geography and climate change all conspired to make this flash-flood horror show". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  14. ^ Olmos, Dori (May 27, 2018). "'Devastating, dangerous' - Ellicott City's Main Street hit with flooding again". WUSA (TV).
  15. ^ "NWSChat". National Weather Service. NOAA. May 28, 2018.
  16. ^ Tkacik, Christina (May 28, 2018). "How does latest Ellicott City storm stack up with 2016? Meteorologists weigh in". The Baltimore Sun.
  17. ^ Miller, Michael E.; Shapira, Ian (May 28, 2018). "'Washed away real quick': Missing Md. man was trying to help woman trapped by flood". The Washington Post.
  18. ^ Carr, Ada; Breslin, Sean (May 29, 2018). "Ellicott City, Maryland, Struck by Catastrophic Flooding; 1 Missing". Weather.com.
  19. ^ "2018 Flood". Howard County Maryland. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  20. ^ a b c Logan, Erin (15 October 2018). "Hurdles remain before buildings can be demolished in historic Ellicott City". Howard County Times. Retrieved 2 December 2018.