Nov 14, 2019

Ellicott City, Md., Residents Face Flood Plan Failure

Despite the implementation of the Safe and Sound Flood Mitigation and Public Safety Plan, recent floods in Ellicott City, Md., have residents concerned.

Ellicott City, Md., Residents Face Flood Plan Failure

Resident of Ellicott City, Md., saw significant flooding brought on recent heavy rainfall, despite a flood mitigation plan created during the area’s last storm, according to Patch.

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball initiated the Safe and Sound Flood Mitigation and Public Safety Plan, which is still in its early stages. This plan was put to the test when more than two in. of rain fell in Ellicott City on Halloween night. 

Officials and residents are at odds over the efficacy of the flood plan, reported Patch. According to Ball, the flood plan removed four tons of debris from the waterway, which mitigated the flooding. 

"Tree limbs, rocks, things of that nature that clog up the ability for the water to flow more freely," Ball told WTOP. "So, by continuing to keep that clean, the work we've done upstream, we've begun to prepare much better than we were. Our Safe and Sound Plan is a five year plan, so it's going to take five fiscal years to work through."

Residents took to Facebook to voice their concerns, according to Patch

"Water was running fast over our front curb. We got within five minutes of evacuating because the situation was becoming dire very quickly.” said Main Street resident Christina Allen Page. “It was only because the storm stopped precisely when it did that the situation was not severely worse. My husband spent the next day pumping out our basement."

The sirens are designed to alert people on the street when it is time to evacuate, but they actually sound when a flash flood warning is in effect, according to Patch. By that time, the water is coursing along too quickly to safely escape, however.

"There are no evacuation notices for the residents or the people in the businesses. We're on our own, which is why we stay in such close contact," said Page. 

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