Reopening of Main Street in Ellicott City will be delayed
County executive responds to businesses’ pushback
Howard County officials are delaying the reopening of Ellicott City’s historic Main Street after pushback from merchants and property owners who say they need more time to recover from the deadly July flash flood.
The county had planned a full opening of Main Street on Tuesday, but Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman is seeking to push it to Oct. 6.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama on Friday authorized federal disaster aid for the recovery efforts, though the amount of money is still to be determined. Last month, Gov. Larry Hogan made a request for $7.6 million.
Officials say the July 30 flood, which killed two people, displaced nearly 200 residents and damaged dozens of businesses, caused an estimated $23 million in damage.
Faced with the prospect of reopening the street next week, merchants and property owners told Kittleman at a town hall meeting Wednesday that they needed more time to clean and secure the area.
Kittleman later said he agreed.
“I appreciate the input we heard from those who attended the town hall,” Kittleman said. “Those are the folks who live and work along Main Street and we want to give them the additional time they requested.”
The county executive is calling on the Howard County Council to extend a formal state of emergency in historic Ellicott City to match that date. The state of emergency allows the county to continue to control access to the area as businesses rebuild.
Kittleman called Obama’s declaration of aid “welcome news,” saying the money will “help us implement long-term flood mitigation projects to rebuild Ellicott City.”
The declaration opens up funding that can be used toward infrastructure repair, hazard mitigation, debris removal and other costs. Kittleman