Ellicott City seeks heroes as town continues to rebuild

WASHINGTON — One month after a disastrous flood roared down Main Street of Ellicott City tearing up sidewalks and inundating historic buildings, the town continues its slow but methodical recovery.

A major effort aimed at historic preservation is being kicked off and the city has launched a search for the heroes who helped save lives when the floodwaters rose July 30.

“Its history, its character, its charm is a part of this place,” said Nicholas Redding, executive director of Preservation Maryland, who announced Tuesday that the 85-year-old organization dedicated to historic preservation will open a temporary resource center on hard-hit Main Street in Ellicott City.

“We are going to put boots on the ground in the form of staff in this resource center to help people connect with the resources that they need: contractors, consultants, architects, engineers all those sorts of things and as well as connecting them in understanding how all the various financial assistance programs work,” Redding said.

The historic preservation resource center is expected to be in operation for about nine months at a cost of about $100,000. Redding said the group is in the process of raising funds for the mission.

Two people were killed in the destructive flash flood, but many lives were saved. A viral video has become emblematic of the frightening flood. Several men can be seen forming a human chain to reach out into the raging floodwaters on Main Street to pluck a woman from her car to safety. But not all the heroism that night made it to YouTube or Facebook.

“There were so many people who did amazing things that evening, so many people who risked their own lives to save total strangers,” said Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman.

To thank those who helped, the county has created a web page where people can nominate individuals they think deserve recognition for their actions on the night of the July 30 flood.

“We should make sure that everybody is recognized for the amazing things they’ve done,” Kittleman said.

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