Ellicott City business owners cleared for disaster loans, Hogan says

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — Maryland Governor Larry Hogan was able to deliver some good news to flood-ravaged Ellicott City.

One day after filing a request for a disaster declaration from the Small Business Administration, Hogan told reporters at a news conference the request had been granted.

The declaration provides access to low-interest small-business loans, “which will help a lot of these folks in a big way,” Hogan said Wednesday. “We were very pleased that the federal government reacted as quickly as they did to our request.”

Hogan toured downtown Ellicott City with Howard County Executive Alan Kittleman. Reporters were barred from accompanying the officials, but at a news conference, Hogan told reporters what he’s seen of the recovery effort is encouraging.

“It looks like an entirely different place than it did last Sunday when I was here,” Hogan said.

Kittleman said roads in the hardest-hit historic downtown had been cleaned up and buildings had been shored up, but he said it’s still too soon to say when Main Street would make a complete recovery.

“We still have a long, long way to go, so no timelines,” he said.

In the wake of the flash flood, which killed two stranded motorists, more than 200 cars were towed out of the flooded out areas. As of the last check, just 12 cars remained. Kittleman said all 12 of the owners of those cars had been contacted. Other car owners were not so lucky. Kittleman said as many as 38 cars remained stuck in the Patapsco riverbed.

Kittleman said “part of the recovery effort is including future flood prevention efforts. He added that his administration had been investigating flood-mitigation plans before the July 30 flood. He said his goal is to make sure the city not only returns to its prior state but “to make it even stronger.”

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Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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