ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — Maryland state and county officials recognized the ordinary people who did extraordinary things during and after the destructive Ellicott City flooding in July.
“The people of Ellicott City are incredibly resilient. Sometimes in the midst of our darkest days is when the goodness and the compassion of Marylanders shines through the brightest,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan during the ceremony Thursday.
About 40 people, businesses and groups nominated by members of their community were honored as “flood heroes.” Each recipient received a certificate and two special coins.
Hogan handed out coins that read “Presented For Excellence.” Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman presented coins that carried an image of the Main Street clock that was swept away in the flood. The coins also included these words: “Time Shows Us What Really Matters.”
Some of the people recognized Thursday included:
- David Dempster, who joined a human chain of people that rescued a woman who became trapped in her car. He was the one who took video of the dramatic rescue that went viral.
- Jonny Maravetz, who was the second link in that human chain. He was not hurt, but he lost his home and all of his belongings in the flood.
- Ron Peters, the owner of several rental properties. He rushed back from vacation when the flooding happened and offered a free place to stay to one of his tenants who had been flooded out.
- Jennifer Porter, one of the owners of The Little French Market, who kicked in a window of the flooded shop to free an employee who became stuck inside.
- Chef Matt Milani, owner of The Rumor Mill restaurant, who calmly led nearly 50 patrons and several employees to safety during the flood. Their escape involved an upstairs back door and several ladders.
- Barry Plunkett, who recruited dozens of high school students to help move debris and clear out basements right after the flood.
“It gives me a great deal of pride to see the incredible progress that has been made to repair and rebuild this beautiful town,” Hogan told those gathered at the ceremony. It was held in the Main Street space below Classic Interiors, which will reopen next month as The MarketPlace.