Project to reduce flooding in historic Ellicott City gets underway

On rainy days, perhaps no community in the D.C. area worries about flooding as much as Ellicott City in Howard County, Maryland. But a multimillion dollar project is underway to protect the city, especially historic Main Street, which was devastated by flooding in 2016 and 2018.

Gov. Larry Hogan and Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, using ceremonial shovels, helped move some of the dirt to kick off the project. It consists of the construction of a special flood pond, which Ball said is “as big as 10 football fields.”

Retention projects are designed to hold water “away from historic Ellicott City and release it slowly once the danger has passed,” Ball said.

Hogan said the state is committing about $20 million to this project over several years.

“This important project is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to climate resilience,” Hogan said.

After the floods of 2016, many businesses along historic Main Street moved out, and even more did so after the 2018 floods. But some have started to move back in.

The pond project is expected to be finished in 18 months, and another similar project is set to begin in early 2022.

Kyle Cooper

Anchor and reporter Kyle Cooper, has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana, and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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