For the first time, early warning sirens sounded in historic Ellicott City on Monday evening, triggered by a flash flood warning from the National Weather Service.
Despite almost two inches of rain in a one hour period, no serious damage was sustained in Maryland’s flood-prone tourist destination, which suffered devastating floods in 2016 and 2018.
“It was a bit alarming, only because you worry what’s going to happen to Main Street,” said a resident taking two young children and her dog for a walk early Tuesday morning. “But you feel good that at least people know to get to higher ground.”
The emergency sirens sounded for the first time since last July, when the National Weather Service and Howard County worked to designate “Historic Ellicott City,” located along the Patapsco River, separately from the remainder of Ellicott City, which measures 30 square miles.
“For the first time, we had our early alert tones go off,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “We heard from businesses and residents in the immediate area that they heard it, and were not only alerted, but felt empowered and aware.”