Two days after the recent flooding in historic Ellicott City, Preservation Maryland Executive Director Nicholas A. Redding joined host Bryan Nehman on WBAL 1090 News Now radio to discuss the cause and possible recovery strategies.

Listen to the conversation


“Could Development Be To Blame For Ellicott City Floods?”

With another catastrophic flood damaging businesses, cars and more in Ellicott City, the community is searching for answers as the cleanup continues.

Executive director at Preservation Maryland Nicholas Redding joined WBAL News Now Tuesday morning, saying a direct, calculated approach to the rebuild must be taken.

“Nothing has changed in terms of the value of this community and the important role it plays in the story it plays in Maryland history,” Redding said. “What has changed is I think there is a real recognition and realization that you can’t just put everything back together and hope for the best. There has to be a significant strategy and real money put toward mitigation, and that’s going to be a really, really tough job in the coming months and years ahead.”

Acknowledging Ellicott City has a history of flood issues, he says previously many of those those were from the Patapsco river up, while the two in 2016 and 2018 have been top down floods.

“They are much more dangerous when that happens,” Redding said. “If that new development in [that part] of Howard County is causing it, then perhaps [that development] and everything that’s changed needs to have to sort of pay for what happens in trying to save this.”

Executive Kittleman and Redding at a press conference in Ellicott City, 2016.

Executive Kittleman and Redding at a press conference in Ellicott City, 2016.

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said his immediate priorities are finding the missing man and assessing the condition of damaged buildings that housed shops, restaurants and families.

If you look at the devastation and the damage, I would certainly say it’s worse than 2016,” Kittleman said. “We’ve had areas that were not even damaged at all two years ago terribly damaged this time.

Mike Muccilli, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said it was too early to make comparisons between the two devastating floods.

In the July 2016 storm, Ellicott City received 6.6 inches (17 centimeters) of rain over a two- to three-hour period. On Sunday, the community received some 8 inches (20.32 centimeters) of rain over a six-hour period, most in an intense, three-hour period, Muccilli said.

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