WASHINGTON — Residents and business owners in historic Ellicott City, Maryland, now know when they will get to spend more than just a couple hours at their flood-ravaged properties.
Howard County plans to let residents return to the Main Street area on Sunday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., county Executive Allan Kittleman announced.
Kittleman said the Sunday return comes after long hours of hard work by the crews behind the initial cleanup.
“There was sand and mud all over the road, all over the sidewalks; most of that is either gone or very much gone,” Kittleman said.
Since floodwaters tore through the town last Sunday, he said 199 cars have been towed and the windows of damaged businesses have been boarded up. Only 47 of the cars towed remain unclaimed.
“We’ve pretty much done the preliminary clean up in the town, in terms of the debris and dirt,” said Jim Ervin, director of Howard County’s Public Works Department.
Ervin said there was one setback Friday, when a water main in the middle of town broke. Crews are working on setting up temporary service for those impacted, he added.
Last Sunday’s flash flood was the second devastating deluge to hit this small historic town in almost two years.
Kittleman said one thing looks to be working in the favor of the recovery efforts: Mother Nature. Temperatures this weekend are expected to be in the 60s.
“Which is a whole lot different than what we had in 2016, when the temperatures was in the 90s and sometimes feeling above 100,” said Kittleman.
Until the coming Sunday, brief two-hour returns for people from the town will continue Friday and Saturday night.
Those returning to their homes or business, and those coming to help them, must be credentialed before they will be allowed to re-enter the area. Credentials can be obtained at the George Howard Building on Courthouse Drive from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 7 to 8 p.m. on Sunday.