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Ellicott City building removal is ‘asking a lot’

An aggressive new plan to lessen the flood risk in Ellicott City includes the removal of nearly 20 buildings to allow for better drainage. (WTOP/John Aaron)

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. – Plans to lessen flood risks in historic Ellicott City are not without controversy.

To reduce the chances of another devastating flood, nearly 20 historic buildings would be removed in order to widen stream channels and improve water flow.

Sally Tennant’s building is among the 10 on lower Main Street that have been targeted for removal. Her craft gallery Discoveries has been in the location for 38 years, and her home is also in the building.

“I set myself up the way I wanted to set my life up, and I love the community,” she said. “So for me to walk away from all that, it’s asking a lot.”

Liz Walsh, who’s running for a Howard County council seat, was surprised. “This was the first time that we are hearing officially that a master plan for old Ellicott City includes demolishing buildings that have stood on Main Street for more than two centuries,” she said.

In making the announcement, Howard County executive Allan Kittleman maintained the changes are necessary. “We’ve lost four lives these last two floods,” he said. “We cannot lose any more.”


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