Ellicott City recovering from devastating flood

It's been nearly a year since devastating and deadly floods ravaged Downtown Ellicott City for the second time in less than two years.

Tonight, the small community is celebrating a milestone in their recovery.

Ellicott Mills Road is open to the public for the first time in nearly a year after collapsing and washing away during 2018's deadly flash floods.

The road is now completely rebuilt with a new culvert that replaces the decades old aluminum arch running underneath it.

Nearly a year after those raging waters took the life of former National Guardsman Eddie Hermond, piled up cars like matchsticks, and destroyed historic Main Street, Howard County's Deputy Director of Public Works says the $6.1 million effort to rebuild Ellicott Mills Road is nearly done.

"Many people have put their blood sweat and tears into rebuilding this town... the property owners, business, everyone really pitched in to bring this into a nice recovery period," said Deputy Director of Public Works Tom Butler.

The new culvert is 140 feet long, 24 feet wide, and 13 feet high.

Once installed, public works then had to rebuild and repave the entire roadway.

Local business owners like Randy Marriner - with Manor Hill Brewing - are moving forward as well.

Marriner was affected by the floods in both 2016 and 2018, and Eddie Hermond worked for him.

The flood hit close to home, but Marriner still re-opened, even pitching free meals during the recovery.

Randy Mariner, Victoria Restaurant, Manor Hill Brewing "We opened and we fed the town. Fed business owners, the residents, rescue workers... little over three weeks."

"It hit us financially, but you can get over that. You can't replace Eddie. It's hard," Marriner said.

Howard County is moving forward on phase two of its flood mitigation plan - which has five different options.

A public hearing will be held next Thursday, May 4 to get input on the proposals.

And the final option will be announced by the county executive on May 15 - which is something many business owners are eagerly anticipating.

Meanwhile, they encourage everyone to come out Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. for their annual spring fest - which will feature music, food, crafts, and more.

They're hoping to see the entire community at the event.