Ellicott City businesses, residents seek help, donations

WASHINGTON — Residents and businesses are asking for donations to help the historic town get back on its feet following the massive flooding in Ellicott City, Maryland, on Sunday evening.

The local Red Cross is working with Howard County Office of Emergency Management in their relief efforts, and it’s seeking monetary donations.

After assessing the needs of people affected by the flood, the Red Cross gives people gift cards to help them replace clothing and other goods, said Lenore Koors, the regional communications officer for the greater Chesapeake region.

Koors said the Red Cross in Ellicott City hosted two overnight guests and served meals Sunday night and Monday morning all while the building itself was out of power and running on generators.

Koors said they have volunteer mental health providers available for people who may need them.

The Howard County Food Bank is accepting donations in partnership with Ellicott City Partnership (ECP), a nonprofit “whose mission is to preserve the heritage and vitality of historic Ellicott City,” according to their website.

ECP says in 2016, they “collected and distributed over $1.85 million which was used to assist Main St. with recovery.”

They are not accepting clothing, food or furniture donations.

Beverly White-Seals, president of the Community Foundation of Howard County, explains that what residents effected by the Ellicott City flood need is cash.

“Right now we don’t need people bringing stuff because there’s not place to store it, no place to put it,” White-Seals said.

Lori Conforti, a boardmember of the Community Action Council of Howard County, said in a tweet that the items most needed are water, cleaning supplies and flashlights.

Donations can be sent electronically through their website or mailed to Ellicott City Partnership, P.O. Box 92, Ellicott City, Maryland. The nonprofit is also accruing donations through AmazonSmile.

The Howard County Community Relief Fund is accepting donations as well through their website. Click on the donation button at the bottom on the page.

Portalli’s, an Italian restaurant that had been damaged in the 2016 Ellicott City flooding, was damaged again and forced to closed after being open for just six months.

For those who feel they might be in crisis and need to talk to someone, there’s the Grassroots Hotline at 410-531-6677.

The restaurant has created a GoFundMe page in order to “provide for … employees that will be displaced from work indefinitely and to help [the restaurant] rebuild again.”

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