ELLICOTT CITY, Md. - Howard County officials have laid out a plan to rebuild Ellicott City after last month’s devastating floods. The media was allowed onto Main Street on Friday to see the progress crews have made over the last 13 days since flood waters was seen rushing through the street causing severe damage to businesses and vehicles in the area.
Crews have begun repairs and some business owners have been given limited access to help clean up, but there is still a long road ahead.
On Friday, Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman announced their plan to get Ellicott City rebuilt and back on track. Former Howard County Executive, Maryland State Senator and longtime Howard County resident Jim Robey will serve as a special advisor for the recovery and rebuilding committee that will be made up of representatives from local organizations, businesses, residents and the faith-based community helping to offer direction.
Next week, legislation will be introduced to the county council that will allow for permit and inspection fees to be waived for those affected by the flood in hopes to speed up the rebuilding process.
A website has also been set up that will provide all flood-related information for anyone who needs assistance going forward.
Meanwhile, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has signed a presidential disaster declaration letter for Howard County asking for federal assistance money.
“We're dealing with individuals here,” said Kittleman. “We are not just dealing with buildings and we have to make sure we work with that, so we have to have people who are able to deal with that and also just other ways which we can make this place an even stronger place in the future. To make sure the businesses can come back stronger, not just as strong before, but even stronger than they were before. And of course, we got to preserve the historic quality of Ellicott City, a city that is 244 years old.”
Kittleman said more than $500,000 in donations have been received so far. Howard County Councilmember Jon Weinstein will chair a recovery fund committee that will help distribute those funds to those in need.