Latest Ellicott City flood plan to be announced Monday

Nearing the one-year-anniversary of the most recent devastating floods in historic Ellicott City, Maryland, — the second “100-year-flood” in two years — Howard County will announce its latest plan to try to minimize future flooding in the popular tourist destination.

Approximately one month ago, County Executive Calvin Ball laid out five options, for public consideration. He has scheduled a Monday news conference to announce which plan he wants to move forward.

Last year, then-County Executive Allan Kittleman proposed a plan that would involve the county buying, then tearing down 10 buildings on lower Main Street, as a way to avoid future deluges in the most flood-prone area of the street, within walking distance from the Patapsco River.

Ball’s options call for the demolition of between four and six structures, and range from $63 million to $175 million.

With the inevitability of heavy rain and gravity resulting in water flowing downhill through the surrounding watershed, Ball’s suggestions offer a variety of water depths on lower Main Street.

Other options include a number of retention ponds built higher in the watershed.

The two most expensive options include boring tunnels which would, in theory, carry water from high in the watershed directly to the Patapsco River, without flowing down Main Street.

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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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