Search intensifies for the National Guardsman missing in the flood
National Guardsman was last seen trying to help a woman in Maryland.
A National Guardsman who was missing hours after the floods destroyed Maryland Ellicott City on Sunday was the rescue of a woman and her cat when fast-moving water swept him away, a report said.
Officials are still looking for Sgt. Eddison Hermond, 39, who was last seen around 5:20 p.m., Sunday in the neighborhood of La Palapa restaurant on Main Street, Howard County, police said. Kate Bowman told the Baltimore Sun that Hermond, a National Guard member and air force veteran, was trying to pull her to safety when he “washed away.”
“I could barely see anything and I could barely hear anything,” Bowman, 41, told the newspaper. “He stepped over the edge to try to get to me, and he was washed away.”
Rescue workers examine damage on Main Street after a flash flood rushed through the historic town of Ellicott City.
(JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
Bowman said she fled from her shop, Clipper’s Canine Café, with her cat through a window because the rain flooded the area. The water was waist-high when Hermond spotted her. Howard County Police Chief Gary Gardner in the first instance, said Hermond was at a restaurant when a woman approached him to say that she needed help with her cat.
“He, along with a few other people, went back to help her and unfortunately, during the effort that they saw him go under water,” Gardner told reporters.
MARYLAND FLOODS LEAVE NATIONAL GUARD MEMBER IS MISSING, THE GOVERNOR DECLARES A STATE OF EMERGENCY
Bowman said the rescue “nothing to do” with her cat.
“He tried to save me,” Bowman said. “He is a hero.”
A car flipped to the side after flooding in Ellicott City.
Hermond was reported missing by 12:30 a.m. Monday after officials searched the area where he was taken by the water, but could not find it with the 39-year-old. Dogs were deployed to assist in searching buildings and vehicles.
Hermond is a sergeant assigned to Camp Fretterd in Reisterstown, Md. He joined the Maryland Army National Guard in 2009 after he was in the air force for more than a decade, the Baltimore Sun reported.
“We are just throwing around ideas,” Beth Czyryca, one of Hermond friends, told the newspaper. “Maybe he is sitting in a tree, where no one can see him, or he broke his both legs and can’t walk and is waiting for someone to find him.”
She called Hermond the “nicest person in the world” who always had a smile on his face. Czyrca added that she was not surprised that her boyfriend, with whom she has known for a decade, was trying to rescue someone during the floods.
“We will continue to search for the missing man. Nothing is off the table,” Howard County Fire Chief John Butler told reporters Monday, adding that rescuers are still not making “assumptions.”
Several cars were destroyed and submerged in murky brown water after the flooding in Ellicott City.
Residents in Ellicott City, about 13 km west of Baltimore, returned to their businesses and homes Monday to examine the damage cause by the massive flood. A few hours before, murky brown water rushed through the center of the city, taking everything in its path. Videos and photos showed flipped over vehicles and debris waste on streets and shops. The officials said the weekend flooding was “worse than” the July 2016 storm that wreaked havoc on the city of nearly 66,000 people.
For many residents, this is the second time that they will be rebuilding after a 2016 flood that caused millions in damage.
“Time to build, that’s it,” restaurateur Michel Tersiguel said. “It is not a question for us. We restore the building last time, so that helped. … Our plan is to on the as soon as the county gives us.”
Residents gather by a bridge to look at cars left crumpled in one of the tributaries of the Patapsco River outside of its banks if it is channeled through the historic Main Street in Ellicott City.
Local officials recently said about 96 percent of the business was destroyed during the 2016 flood were back in operation, and more than 20 new businesses had opened again in the centre. But the reconstruction proved to be of short duration, leaving some shop owners to ask if they do it all over again.
“We will see. It costs a lot of money and a lot of time, a lot of energy. We must judge,” Nathan Sowers said about the reconstruction of his pizza shop.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter via @bykatherinelam