Ellicott City leaders allow residents access to Main Street, with goal to reopen

WASHINGTON — After floodwaters tore apart the downtown area, Ellicott City leaders hope to reopen Main Street to pedestrian traffic next month. But first, those who live and work downtown need to move out.

For more than two weeks, public works crews have been laying temporary sidewalks, filling massive sinkholes and clearing the debris that covered Main Street after flash flooding overtook the river and flooded the downtown area in a matter of minutes.

Residents have been able to get to their homes and business owners have had access to shops, but until now, they could not bring large vehicles into the Main Street area.

“Also, we had a number of buildings — particularly at the lower end of Main Street — that, two weeks ago, we had great concerns about collapsing,” said Howard County spokesman Mark Miller.

Now that it is safer, he says, residents and business owners can bring trucks downtown to remove larger items such as TVs and furniture.

Starting Thursday through Monday, they’re encouraging everyone to take advantage of the access they have from dawn until dusk to move out.

“Once that five-day window’s over, we are going to get our public works crews doing the multiple projects they need to do, with a goal of hopefully reopening to pedestrian traffic by about September 16,” Miller said.

The work will include filling sinkholes, shoring up remaining walls and repaving parking lot H so residents and business owners displaced by the floods have somewhere to keep their vehicles, Miller said.

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Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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