Devastating flash flood rips through historic Maryland town

Geraldine Edwards
May 30, 2018

Crews were frantically searching for 39-year-old Eddison Hermond, a man who was swept away by floodwaters in Ellicott City while attempting to help a woman find her cat on Sunday, according to officials.

Lt. Col. Charles Kohler, a spokesman for the Maryland Army National Guard, said Hermond was a sergeant assigned to the training department at the Camp Fretterd Military Reservation in Reisterstown.

Rescue personnel examine damage on Main Street after a flash flood rushed through the historic town of Ellicott City, Maryland, on May 27, 2018.

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He said Hermond was helping a woman who wanted to leave the Ellicott City restaurant, when he lost his balance and was swept away by the current.

Howard County executive Alan Kittleman called the flooding "worse than July 30, 2016", the last time floodwaters caused major damage to the Ellicott City area.

A small window of time to survey losses and gather belongings will be given to those in the flood damaged areas, officials say.

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It is really truly devastating and I would say it is as bad or worse than the storm two years ago. There is now no information about casualties; however, one person has been reported missing.

"God this is worse than the last one", one caller said.

On Monday morning, local officials reported that one man was missing following the floods, which were powerful enough to sent vehicles floating down Main Street Sunday. Money from a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant had just arrived and was slated for repairs and construction, Kittleman said. In some areas, water levels reached above the first floor of buildings, Howard County Fire and EMS said. Gas lines were shut down and a historic building fell, he told reporters.

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For now, the Main Street area remained blocked off Monday, even to residents and business owners, as teams of authorities and engineers surveyed the heartbreaking mess. "There have been no other reports of missing people", police said. Particularly worrying, Kittleman said, is a 25- to 30-foot-wide hole just north of Main Street, where the ground and road appear to have buckled under the weight of the flooding.

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