Ellicott City, MD

Ellicott City
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Two “once in a thousand years” floods have hit Ellicott City, Maryland since 2016. Business owners along its historic main street, the old National Road, had just rebuilt from the last flood when another one in May set them all the way back again. News reports showed the first story of all of these buildings under water.

When my sons and I visited in 2009, we explored this bridge a little and found markings on its piers showing the levels of many previous floods. This year’s flood was the 15th catastrophic flood recorded since the town’s founding in 1766. Ellicott City, being in a valley near a few rivers, is simply flood prone. Ten inches of rain fell in a few hours the day before last Memorial Day and there was nowhere else for it to go.

I want to drive Maryland’s section of the National Road again one day. I hope there’s something left of Ellicott City when I do.


6 responses to “single frame: Ellicott City”

  1. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    When I lived in DC for 5 years, my girlfriend and I used to pop up to Ellicott City every few months…it was a day-tripper place with a lot of galleries and shops. Kind of like Long Grove is to Chicago and Cedarburg is to Milwaukee. A nice weekend diversion!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      There are lots of fun old towns like that on the National Road! I’d like to go back and spend a week.

  2. Dan James Avatar

    A town near us, called Lewes, has a river running through and some very low parts, so whenever there’s significant and sustained rainfall they seem to have flooding issues. There’s only so much you can do to stop water! I’m not sure I’d choose to live in such a place, whatever other benefits it might offer. Or if I did, live in a treehouse!


    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      When I look at houses to buy I avoid the flood plains! I don’t know why everybody doesn’t.

  3. TBM3FAN Avatar

    I remember Ellicott City from 1962-66. I lived in the next town over in Catonsville where my father took up residence after a Carnation Milk Co. transfer. His right hand man, a big ex-WWII Marine lived there. I called him Uncle Bill who has since passed away. On my first visit to his house I saw that the entire living room was in blue. I wondered why and it turned out he was very color blind. How he got into the Marines like that I don’t know. Years later color blindness is part and parcel of the health profession I am in dealing with vision.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ll bet if you visited today you’d recognize the downtown but not much else. I get the sense Ellicott City has really grown!

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