3 weeks after devastating flood waters tore through historic Ellicott City, progress is being made ahead of the 2016 schedule. Parts of Main Street and some shops reopened Tuesday with the message 'Ellicott City is back in business.'
"Us 25 artists can be in business again and we are so grateful," painter Jane Knighton said. "It just sends a strong message to people: we are still here."
She was at the Artists Gallery Tuesday, cleaning up the exterior as they get ready ot reopen for the first time since the flood on Memorial Day Weekend.
"Our hearts go out to all the businesses that are still struggling," Knighton said.
David Roe, another artist with his photographs in the gallery, is surprised the progress happened this fast.
'We thought it was going to be quite awhile after what we went through in 2016, but the job that they have done is absolutely amazing. I can't believe it," Roe said.
After the 2016 flood, it took more than 2 months to open Main Street. This time around, just over 3 weeks. But there is still work to be done and even the businesses open still need support.
"We are coming into the best season for us where we get most of our sales. Now we aren’t sure what's going to happen," Roe said.
A good sign on Tuesday, some shoppers are already coming back.
"I'm glad to see that some of my favorite businesses are coming back," shopper Betsy Bartlett said.
She had been eyeing a stained glass bee through the Taylor's Collective's window since before the flood, and Tuesday she was finally able to come and get it.
"My sister is going through cancer right now and her whole theme is bee's and as soon as she announced that, I knew that this was my piece and knowing that it survived the flood, I knew it was meant to be," Bartlett said.
The county is working hard to reopen lower Main Street as soon as possible but they don’t have a target date yet.