Clean up in Ellicott City continues following historic flood

Posted at 2:34 PM, Aug 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-08 17:53:37-04

Residents, volunteers and business owners continue their clean up in Ellicott City, and hope to reopen Main Street soon.

More than 100 residents are out of their homes, according to City Councilman Jon Weinstein. Weinstein said many of their homes are perfectly intact, but the road in front, or the structural integrity of the building, may be damaged.

More than 4,000 volunteers have lent a hand to help dig mud out of businesses, and help fix streets. Construction workers are moving fast to rebuild this historic town.

Weinstein said people are asking why they are rebuilding Ellicott City, knowing that it floods often. But he said they are looking at new ways to divert water, and know it's the people that make up the town.

Jeni Porter, owner of the Little French Market, said she will be cleaning out her business Monday and making sure all of her merchandise is secure.

"Really start pulling my equipment out and getting down on my hands and knees and getting the bleach in there and then we hopefully will get an insurance person in there," Porter said. "She hopes to reopen as soon as possible."

During the flood, she heard her manager was still inside the store and rushed to check on him. The water was so high she couldn't get to the restaurant, so she parked a few blocks away and walked down.

Water was above the windows and he was trapped. She rushed up the street, asked a few men to come help her and they broke out a side window to pull the manager out.

After that, Porter said she was manic, worried about all of her friends in the area and distressed about their fate. Luckily, mostly everyone was okay.

Magnus Hoopes, a resident in the West End, said he's the luckiest person on his block. He told ABC2 he lives in a slight rise in the road, so water diverted behind and in front of his home.

Hoopes said he and his husband lost power for a little while, but are able to get through police barricades and sleep in their own bed.

"You think twice about having to leave the house, because you do have to go in and out of these things and you're never sure where you're going to be able to park and what you can bring to and from the house. It's getting better over time though definitely," Hoopes said.

Hoopes added it is hard living behind the barricade.

"You look outside and oh yep, there's a big dumpster in front of the house and there's this and that in front of the house and there's a pile of trash or trees or an abandoned shoe," Hoopes said.

But quick work is being done to make the town look somewhat normal. Weinstein said as of Monday, no demolition is scheduled and no date is set to reopen Main Street.

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