Residents feel the effects of historic flooding of downtown Ellicott City

Posted at 10:29 PM, Aug 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-02 06:36:49-04

When historic, once in a lifetime flooding hit Old Ellicott City on Saturday, Doug Wilson wasn’t at his home just a few blocks from Main Street. He was in Europe, on a church mission trip.

“When we were switching planes, all of a sudden we started getting texts asking if we were okay,” Wilson said. “And I had no idea what they were talking about. A friend’s wife sent pictures of Ellicott City, and it was flooding beyond anything I had ever heard about.”

Thankfully for Wilson, his home was mostly untouched. When he got back home, though, he saw not everyone was as lucky.

“When I saw the picture, I knew this was no normal storm,” he said.

Just down the street from Wilson’s house, in the 3600 block of Fels Lane, Joe Hauser, watched his car wash down the street in the deluge and lost his driveway.

“I was here and it started to look like a whiteout, like in a snow storm, because it was raining so hard,” Hauser said. “And then I saw the cars go down the driveway, so I said, ‘I’ll just watch this happen, I’m not getting in there.’”

Hauser said that his cars were spared any serious damage, but his driveway—which buckled as much as 2 feet in some places—would cost him thousands of dollars in repairs.

Wilson said that his neighbor’s driveway was “so rippled” that it “looked like an earthquake hit.”



Up the street from some of the worst damage—sinkholes outside of storefronts, collapses sidewalks and the like—John Shoemaker had to rush to recover as much as possible from his basement when it started to flood.

Shoemaker said he thinks that the water was able to get in after an outside door broke. Water and sediment poured in.

“It’s probably over 7 feet high, maybe,” he said. “We got mud. We had mud in here over the baseboards.”



His basement, now empty, except for some shovels against the wall, had a muddy demarcation line that reached the tops of some windows. Splatters of mud still cover the floor.

“This is unbelievable,” Shoemaker said. “Unreal.”

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