Ellicott City looks to future flood prevention

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — As the cleanup continues in Ellicott City following last weekend’s deadly flood, there is talk of how the town can prevent future floods in its low-lying downtown.

It’s called the historic downtown for a reason. Ellicott City’s flooded hub is 244 years old.

“It was built not only next to a river; it was built on top of a river, and that makes things all the more difficult,” said Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman.

As 6.6 inches of rain fell in just two hours Saturday, the river rose and rainwater drained into the downtown valley.

“We’re using this as an opportunity to figure out what’s the best thing we can do to move forward to mitigate as much as possible,” Kittleman said.

After touring the downtown area, U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin said federal assistance will allow Ellicott City to explore its options.

“What happened Saturday night is something (where) you can’t prevent damage from occurring, but there are ways we think we can live with the realities of the river and the community,” he said.

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Megan Cloherty

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

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