Update, 7:45 p.m. Sunday: Two people swept away by the floodwaters in Ellicott City lost their lives Saturday night. For the latest, see: Two dead after severe flash flood in Maryland
The scene in Ellicott City Saturday night was scary, surreal and downright dangerous.
Intense thunderstorms unloaded as many as eight inches of rain in three hours. The resulting flooding was devastating.
Ellicott City’s Main Street was transformed into a raging river that swept away cars and inundated homes and businesses. Howard County first responders assisted 120 people in swift-water rescues.
Video shot from the second floor of Portalli’s Restaurant on Main Street at the height of the flooding is shocking. Diners huddle near the window watching in disbelief. “Oh, my God!” is the most frequent reaction as cars float down the street, some with people inside (watch especially from 3:55 on).
(Video: Nezacant via YouTube)
“[This is] just a disaster,” said Evan Brown, the owner of Portalli’s, which was heavily damaged by the flood.
Much of the city is now wrecked.
“Video and photos shot in the flood’s aftermath depict a ruined downtown: bricks torn from sidewalks, cars overturned, windows smashed, storefronts ripped opened,” reports The Washington Post’s John Woodrow Cox and Martin Weil.
(Howard County React)
Ronald McCandless, a Capital Weather Gang reader who lives three miles from downtown Ellicott City, called the experience “worse than a hurricane.”
“We have two sump pumps that did little good for the basement since water came in over the foundation in three places,” McCandless said.
One woman in Baltimore County drowned as the Patapsco River surged to historic levels in a matter of minutes:
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has declared a state of emergency Sunday in the flood’s aftermath.
Below I’ve compiled photos and videos of the scene, which tell the story of this horrible event better than words:
During the flooding
(Justin Berk via YouTube)
(Nezacant via YouTube. Caution: Strong language)
During the flooding
After the flooding
On Monday, Capital Weather Gang severe weather expert Jeff Halverson will describe the meteorology behind this severe flooding.