The Latest: Official 'heartbroken' by flood devastation

Sunday , May 27, 2018 - 5:19 PM

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) — The Latest on Sunday’s flash flooding in Maryland (all times local):

9:20 p.m.

A Maryland official, Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman, says authorities aren’t aware of any fatalities or missing people after a devastating flash flood struck a community in that state.

Kittleman spoke at an outdoor news conference after Sunday’s flooding in Ellicott City, Maryland. He says he toured the historic county seat after the flash flood receded and was “heartbroken” by seeing it so severely damaged again since flooding in 2016. As he spoke, Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford put a comforting hand on Kittleman’s back.

Kittleman says he considers the damage worse than the flooding two summers ago that claimed two lives.

Of the city’s residents and business owners, Kittleman says “they are faced with the same daunting task again.” But he says: “We will be there for them as we were in 2016.”

Gov. Larry Hogan also toured the area and promised “every bit of assistance we possibly can” to Ellicott City. Says Hogan: “They say this is a once every 1,000-year flood and we’ve had two of them in two years.”

8:55 p.m.

The National Weather Service says nearly eight inches (centimeters) of rain flooded a Maryland community that was devastated by an earlier flash flood just two years ago.

Meteorologist Mike Muccilli said the worst of the rain appeared to be over by about 8:30 p.m. Sunday. But authorities were just beginning to assess the damage in Ellicott City.

In July 2016, Ellicott City received 6.6 inches (17 centimeters) of rain over a 2- to 3-hour period. On Sunday, most of the rain fell during a 3-hour period. Muccilli said Sunday’s rain created “a true flash flood.”

8:25 p.m.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he has signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in response to severe flooding in Ellicott City and areas across the state.

Hogan said the order will allow the state to efficiently coordinate support and provide additional help to localities experiencing flooding.

Hogan said the residents of Ellicott City “went through a horrific ordeal” in 2016, when the community was struck by flash flooding that killed two people and destroyed local businesses. He said they are facing a similar emergency now.

Hogan urged people to monitor the weather, pay attention to all warnings and avoid flooded areas.

Hogan signed the order while receiving a briefing in Ellicott City from state and local emergency management personnel.

7:20 p.m.

A witness says she watched cars being swept by flash flooding through a downtown street in Ellicott City, Maryland.

Jessica Ur, a server at a cafe on the city’s Main Street, told The Baltimore Sun she saw the gushing brown waters carry three or four parked cars down the street.

The newspaper reports that the swirling waters reached the second flood of one building at its height.

But by about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, the newspaper reports, much of the water had subsided and rescue officials were walking around the downtown area while making sure people evacuated.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan earlier declared a state of emergency in the flood-stricken area. Hogan says he has directed the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to assist Ellicott City to recover.

6:45 p.m.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has declared a state of emergency in a community west of Baltimore hit by flash floods.

Hogan says on Facebook that he is heading to Ellicott City, located about 13 miles (22 kilometers) west of Baltimore, after Sunday’s flash flooding form recent heavy rains.

Authorities have no immediate report of any injuries or fatalities though information is still preliminary.

Numerous water rescues have been reported after heavy rain drenched the state and sent raging brown water surging down Main Street in Ellicott City and past vehicles.

Authorities say Ellicott City, on the west bank of Maryland’s Patapsco River, is prone to periodic flooding.

Some residents of Ellicott City told The Baltimore Sun the flooding appeared to be worse than that from a storm two years ago that claimed two lives and destroyed local businesses.

6:15 p.m.

Authorities in an area hit by flash flooding west of Baltimore say they have no immediate reports of any fatalities.

Spokeswoman Karen Spicer in Howard County says she has no immediate information of any deaths after flash floods coursed through streets in Ellicott City, Maryland on Sunday.

Information still is preliminary, however, and authorities say they are still checking flooded buildings and streets.

Footage of Sunday’s flash flooding in Ellicott City, Maryland, shows water surging around cars and pickup trucks. The Howard County Fire & EMS agency also tweeted that waters had risen above the first floor of some buildings at the height of the flash flooding.

Some Baltimore County roads also have been flooded. A spokeswoman in Baltimore County said the fire department has received dozens of calls about cars stuck in high water and flooded basements.

5:40 p.m.

Flash flooding and water rescues are being reported in Maryland as heavy rain soaks much of the state.

News outlets on Sunday showed photos and video of brown water rushing down Main Street in Ellicott City, just outside Baltimore. That’s the same street devastated by flash flooding in July 2016.

A flash flood emergency was issued in Maryland’s Howard County at 4:40 p.m.

Some residents of Ellicott City told The Baltimore Sun the flooding appeared to be worse than a storm two years ago that killed two people and destroyed local businesses.

Emergency management officials urged people to avoid downtown Ellicott City.

Gov. Larry Hogan also asked people to avoid area roads. On Twitter, Hogan urged residents to seek higher ground if their area is under a flash flood warning.

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