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Ellicott City, Baltimore region affected by a ‘once-the 1000-year flood’

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Flash flooding in Maryland, if the rain the majority of the state

Water rescues have been reported in Ellicott City, Maryland.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan late Sunday night declared a state of emergency in Ellicott City after a huge rainstorm caused floods destroyed businesses and cars submerged in what he called a “once-in-1,000-year flood.”

News outlets showed photos and video of a sudden, violent water flows down Main Street in Ellicott City, about 13 km west of Baltimore. The community, which is along the western shore of Maryland’s Patapsco River, was also hit by deadly floods in July 2016.

Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman said at a press conference late Sunday that this storm was worse than in 2016. Residents and businesses, Kittleman said: “faced with the challenging task again.”

“We will be there for them if we are in 2016,” he said.

It is happening again! Flash floods devastating Main St. in the Old Town of Ellicott City, MD rivaling 2016 deadly floods. Multiple rescues in progress. Officials to tell people to head to the second floor and shelter in place; they will come to you. Video by Kali Harris. pic.twitter.com/83cR7LJeRp

— Mike Seidel (@mikeseidel) 27 May 2018

Jessica Ur, a server at Pure Wine Cafe on the main street of the city, told The Baltimore Sun that she saw as the gushing waters swept three or four parked cars in the street.

“It is significantly higher than it was,” she told the newspaper, comparing the water of 2016.

Mike Muccilli, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Virginia, said it was still too early to make comparisons between the two floods. But he said both were devastating.

In July 2016, Ellicott City received 6.6 inches of rain over a two – to three-hour period. On Sunday, the community got almost 8 inches of rain over a period of six hours, but most fell during an intense, three-hour period, Muccilli said.

Some people reported hearing a loud alarm during the floods. Others said that they were on the second floor of a building to look anxiously to the seething waters. A sight during the flood: a handmade, white flag hung from an upper story of a Main Street building with the letters SOS.

In case it is not yet clear, stay away from the Main Street. Please. pic.twitter.com/FO1HFpYqMo

— Libby Solomon (@libsolomon) 27 May 2018

“If you get stuck, we are coming,” Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services tweeted at one point.

Ellicott City since its reconstruction in 2016, floods damaged and destroyed businesses. Local officials recently said that 96 percent of the businesses were back in operation, and more than 20 new businesses had opened again in the centre.

Just two weeks ago, Hogan announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency were awarded with the state and the province more than $1 million to pay for projects aimed at reducing the flood risks in the area of Main Street.

Some are already asking questions about whether enough is done after the last floods to prevent a similar disaster.

Hogan said temporary improvement and more things are in the works to reduce community vulnerabilities. But he said that big changes take time, and no one expected a huge flood so soon after 2016.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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