Flood victims assess damage in Baltimore County

More than 10 inches of rain fell in Catonsville
Posted at 7:19 PM, May 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-29 19:26:27-04

Some victims in Catonsville have already cleaned out flooded basements, but for the Lichliter family in nearby Oella, it is still a work in progress.

"That's the high water mark," said Charles Lichliter as he showed us the water line in his basement.
"And that is five foot?"
"Five foot one inch,” he replied, “The rain was probably double and then the hillside, and it just 'Boom!'"

Built out of a log cabin from the Benjamin Banneker estate that dates back to 1797, Lichliter has made this his family's home for 40 years, and he blames a decade's worth of county planning decisions for the flooding problems he experiences today.

"We get all the water off of Paradise Hills,” said Lichliter, “Then the county had the bright idea that they wanted to change some of the water that was flowing down Frederick Road.  They put a storm inlet in just up past my house and dumped it into this same underground stream where the stream has way more than it could have handled before they did that, and they doubled the amount of water."
As crews began shoring up a failing bridge over Frederick Road, people living on nearby Thistle Road assessed the damage.    

"It was raging pretty hard.  You can see how high up on the sides of the valley.  It filled the valley with water.  This is a huge drainage basin for one whole end of Catonsville," said Charles Alexander, "It's pretty unprecedented to have this small of a geographic area get hit twice in two years.  When you look at how isolated it was, it's like winning the reverse lottery."
A lottery, which carried a stark reminder of just how much more was at stake, as friends and family members of the missing National Guard sergeant awaited word of his fate on this side of the river, before learning that he had become the lone casualty of the second flood here in as many years.