Several hundred cars towed to Centennial High School after flooding in Ellicott City

Posted at 7:41 PM, Aug 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-02 21:07:46-04

Ellicott City is rebuilding after flooding Saturday evening washed away cars, destroyed businesses, and killed two people.

Crews have been working non-stop to stabilize buildings, clean-up debris and relocate a number of vehicles. Around 233 cars were towed from the Main Street area to Centennial High School. Slowly people have been making their way there not knowing if their cars will start, if they’re intact, or if they’re totaled.

A number of people are now dealing with water logged and crumpled cars. As some retrieved their cars Tuesday, they shared stories of what they saw that night.

“It’s almost like I was an extra in a disaster movie,” said Adam Walker.

“It looked like the Colorado River going down Ellicott City,” said Timothy Moylan.

Cheryl Spruill was at La Palapa on Main Street for a family dinner. There were 16 of them all together, 8 of them children.

“Cars were floating, dumpsters were floating. It was scary. I think the scarier part was I turned around two minutes later and it’s coming in the front door of the restaurant and that’s when we had to go higher,” said Spruill.

Walker was at that same restaurant with friends. He said they had to evacuate out of the side of the building then climb a wall to get to higher ground.

“And then when we saw Main Street and heard about people drowning at the bottom of Cacao Lane and where Phoenix was, it became real and it was one of those we need to survive type moments. Nothing else matters but our survival,” said Walker.

He remembers panic, people crying, but was also amazed when strangers came to their aid.

“People are amazing to me for the simple fact that you’ve never met them before yet they’re your biggest heroes because they help you over a wall or they help get you out of a car people come together in a moment of crisis all the time,” Walker said.


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The whole clean-up is going to take a while. Howard County Executive Alan Kittleman did not give an exact estimate but said it could take months, maybe even years.

A lot of homeowners, business owners, car owners are now having to deal with insurance and other inconveniences but as they picked up what’s left, they were reminded of what matters most.

“This is the only thing that counts, the family, the kids, life. All this can be replaced doesn’t mean a thing and you realize in a situation like that,” Moylan said.

The lot at Centennial High School is open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., an ID is required to pick-up your vehicle. Owners are asked to pick-up their vehicle by Sunday or to have it towed. The cars will be relocated to an impound lot after that date.