Army engineers move boulders to prevent future Ellicott City floods

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expects to wrap up several days of moving tons of debris from Ellicott City’s waterways Monday to reduce the risk of future flooding in the historic Howard County town.

Using excavators and other heavy machinery, the Corps has been moving boulders and concrete chunks from tributaries of the Patapsco River that overflowed during the July 30 storm.

If the debris were not removed, it would mean more water accumulating during future storms, causing more flooding risk from just half an inch of new rainfall, the Corps told the Baltimore Sun.

In addition to 50 cars, the flood waters pushed about 50 tons of debris into three tributaries, raising the chance of waters overflowing the river banks.

Spokesman Chris Gardner says the work began Friday, with most of the heavy lifting Saturday. Heavy rains Sunday prevented more work on site, but Gardner said the project is expected to wrap up by Monday evening.

Watch the U.S. Army Corps removing debris (video courtesy of the Howard County Government):

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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