2 Ellicott City flooding victims ID'd

Posted at 2:38 PM, Jul 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-01 06:18:51-04

Two people are confirmed dead after heavy rains caused severe flooding in Ellicott City Saturday night, according to Baltimore County Police.

Jessica Watsula, 35, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania and Joseph Anthony Blevins, 38, of Windsor Mill, are the confirmed victims.

Watsula's body was found at about 2:20 a.m. Sunday. Her brother told police that she and family members were visiting Ellicott City when the flash flood occurred.

They were inside the victim's vehicle, attempting to leave, when the vehicle was swept away. The occupants got out of the vehicle, and all but the victim were rescued and transported to Howard County General Hospital.

The victim was swept away and eventually found about 200 yards from the Ilchester Bridge.

Blevins' body was discovered at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday when a man walking a trail found the body washed up on shore near Ilchester Road and the Howard County line.
Police learned that Blevins was in Ellicott City with his girlfriend. The vehicle was swept away with the couple inside. The woman got out of the vehicle and was rescued, but Blevins was swept away.

Officials say about 6-inches of rain fell in a short period of time Saturday, leading to flash flooding and dangerous surges of water.

Howard County Police Chief Gary Gardner said one of the people killed was a pedestrian and the other was in a vehicle with another person when the person got distressed, climbed out of the vehicle, and was carried down stream. The other person in that vehicle made it to safety, Gardner said.

 "We've never seen devastation like this here," Kittleman said.

Officials evaluated about 200 buildings Sunday, of those four or five will be classified as destroyed and another 20 to 30 buildings will be categorized as having significant damage.

Police are providing 24-hour security to make sure no unauthorized people go into the evacuated area.

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