ELLICOTT CITY: Why Did It Flood Again?

2 yrs. later another round of historical flooding.


Scary, horrifying, shocking, upsetting, and heart broken can't even define the devastation across Ellicott City and the surrounding areas. It happened again another flood with even greater magnitude than the 1,000 year event of 2016. Many in this area know all too well of the flooding concerns with the flood last year and 13 other catastrophic floods that are on the records which date back as far as 1768.

So why did it happen again?

Well it's all do in part to the classic weather scenario of when air-masses collide.  Baltimore was in a summertime airmass Saturday with highs around 91 and than 86 on Sunday. You combine that with humidity and a powerful backdoor cold front that dropped down from Pennsylvania and you get the trigger for big time storms. 

The front was the main player here since it stalled out providing lift and convergence for storms to gather. This had nothing to do with Alberto which was still churning out over the Gulf of Mexico. The front providing the lift + no wind to steer anything aloft leads to slow moving storms which ride like one train car after another on a set of tracks over the same locations. 

A stalled front with high moisture and limited wind equals training storms which put out 5-10"+ of rain over portions of Howard, Baltimore, and Anne Arundel Counties. Ground zero of course was Ellicott City with 8.40" of rain and 10.38" of rain in Catonsville. This led to record breaking flooding within the Tiber-Hudson watershed which sits over the area and feeds the Patapsco/Patuxent River basins. 

If you really break it down by the numbers the Tiber-Hudson watershed is only 4 square miles which was compromised by 10" of rain in 3-4 hours leading too 700 million gallons of destructive floodwater.  Insane amounts of water in a short period of time churns and shredding roads, cars, buildings, and anything else in it's path.

The destruction doesn't stop there though. Baltimore City saw it's fair share of flooding near Clipper Mill and along the Jones Falls with upwards of 3-4" of rain reported.

Flooding and water rescues also occurred in such places as Parkville, White Marsh and even Dundalk. Portions of US-1 and I-695 were shutdown at times due to high water concerns.

Truly a historic event for much of central Maryland 2 years later. Once again we pick up the pieces and hope it doesn't happen again. All eyes though shift toward the middle of workweek as the remnants of Alberto bring a new threat of flooding to the area.Stay tuned. 

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