VOA News

Residents of Ellicott City, in the eastern U.S. state of Maryland, are surveying the damage from flash flooding Sunday that raged down the town’s main street.

It’s a deja vu for the historic town as it is the second time in as many years that an intense rainstorm triggered catastrophic flooding in it.

People were seen climbing to upper floors of their shops and homes for safety, with emergency workers urging them to wait for rescue personnel.

Ellicott City is located in a valley that collects rainfall from the surrounding countryside.

Local resident Ken Kessler said that following the floods in 2016 many business owners chose to clean up and reopen. This time, he said, he’s not sure how many will do it again.

“It was incredible, so many of the businesses did come back and some did not. Now, with this happening so close again, we are going to have to watch that all over again,” Kessler said.

Officials say the property damage may be more extensive than from the flood two years ago.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said it’s heartbreaking to witness the town going through this again.

“It is just devastating because people have their lives tied up in this. They went through a heck of a lot and now they are starting all over again. It is pretty devastating and it is emotional,” Hogan said.

The governor promised to provide all possible assistance to residents and business owners affected by the latest flood.