Flood-damaged wall repair project begins in Ellicott City

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — Almost eight months after a dramatic flash flood swept through Old Ellicott City for the second time in two years, a major repair project is underway near Main Street to prevent another deadly deluge.

The Howard County government said it is beginning a construction project to repair and stabilize a stone retaining wall behind buildings at 3732 Old Columbia Pike, near where the winding road meets historic Main Street.

The wall’s foundation was severely damaged when creeks and rivers burst out of their banks on May 27, 2018, the second supposed “thousand year flood event” in the popular former mining town since 2016. The floodwaters claimed the life of Sgt. Eddison Hermond, a 39-year-old Maryland National Guardsman.

The wall is located along the south side of the Tiber Hudson Branch — one of several creeks that run downhill through the town, heading toward the Patapsco River, which flows through Ellicott City and separates Howard County from neighboring Baltimore County.

Several small and medium-sized trees in the affected area will be removed, and large stones will be placed along the base of the wall, in an effort to protect against erosion.

Last month, newly elected County Executive Calvin Ball announced plans to deal with the threat of future flooding. Ball said his plans are designed to avoid large-scale demolition of historic properties — a key facet in the plan developed by Ball’s predecessor, Allan Kittleman.

Weather permitting, the county expects the project to be completed by early February.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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