When historic levels of rainfall hit Ellicott City with devastating flash flooding, people on Main Street didn’t have much time to decide where to seek refuge.
For around 50 people on that harrowing night, the place to find shelter was St. Paul Catholic Church, a figure in the community since 1838.
Father Warren Tanghe got a phone call Saturday night, notifying him of the flooding. He was quick to open the doors of his church’s newest building for anyone to come in and get out of the worst of the storm.
“A variety of people came in and out,” Tanghe said. “We were able to offer them a place to dry off a bit.”
As dozens of people moved through the church building, he said, they were able to use the restroom and charge their phones so they could arrange rides—for as long as the power lasted.
Now that the water has receded and the damage is starting to be assessed, Tanghe said his biggest priority is finding a place for individuals and families who have been displaced by the flooding. Monday, he said, he was talking with a family from his parish that was displaced from an apartment on Main Street.
“We’re working, if there are any parishioners who might have apartments, carriage houses, any kind of accommodation they could make available, because nobody has any guess when people will be able to go back in to the buildings on Main Street,” Tanghe said.
Tanghe said he wants to expand and work with other organizations in the community to expand his efforts and get people who have been displaced into a stable place that’s “suitable for a family to live in.”
To learn more about efforts to help Ellicott City, you can follow this link.
St. Paul Catholic Church can be found online at this link.