Ellicott City flooding prompts emergency rescues, state of emergency

Flooding on Main Street in Baltimore MD. Twitter  Libby Solomon

- After flash floods sent cars floating down Main Street in historic Ellicott City, Maryland, local officials said they were heartbroken to see the community so severely damaged again less than two years after a devastating flood killed two people and caused millions in damages.

The Baltimore Sun reported the town had previously been hit by a flash flood in 2016, forcing it to rebuild most of Main Street. "Right now, we're exclusively focused on making sure everyone is safe and no one is injured or dies as a result of this flooding". Just to the south of Ellicott City, radar indicated as much as 7 to 8 inches had fallen. The executive order allows the state of Maryland to coordinate support to local jurisdictions experiencing flooding conditions. No injuries were immediately reported.

Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency, saying "it's as bad or worse than the storms two years ago".

Mike Muccilli, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Virginia, said it's too early to make comparisons between the two floods. FOX 5's Mike Thomas says flooding was further affected by the continued rain and wet weather that has been affecting the region for the past 10 days.

Some Baltimore County roads also have been flooded.

The Maryland Eastern Shore is under a Flash Flood Watch until 4 a.m. Monday, as storms and rain move through central Maryland to areas east and northeast.

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"If you are trapped, we are coming", Howard County Fire & EMS tweeted.

Officials said there were reports of collapsed buildings.

The Maryland governor is now surveying damage in Ellicott City. He asks that those in the area stay off roads.

Raging water toppled buildings, swept away cars and rose as high as nearly two metres in Ellicott City, about 22km west of Baltimore, on Sunday (local time).

When asked to compare Sunday's flood to the flooding in 2016, Hemmis said, "I'd imagine this is worse".

Anyone looking for higher ground can go to the Roger Carter Community Center, the county said. The Patapsco River, located southeast of Ellicott City, experienced a 17-foot-climb in water levels over those two hours. Water, cleaning supplies and flashlights are among the items needed most.

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