This was my original title of the article: EC Safe and Sound Page posts about the Flash Flood Warning in Howard County and why the siren system for Ellicott City was not activated…I worked to shorten it a little bit before publishing this information.

Here is a post on Facebook from Ellicott City Safe and Sound:

Earlier today, a Flash Flood Warning was issued for portions of Howard County. The text of this warning to the public indicated that Ellicott City was included in this alert.

While the western edge of Ellicott City was included, Historic Ellicott City was not in the geographic borders of the alert area, which is why emergency alert tones on Main Street were not automatically triggered by the National Weather Service. The Howard County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) was in direct and constant contact with NWS throughout the morning. When the Flash Flood Warning was issued, OEM was able to immediately confirm that Historic Ellicott City was NOT included in the alert area.

Howard County is now working with the National Weather Service to address how to separate Historic Ellicott City as its own geographic district. Here is a statement from the National Weather Service:


A message from James E. Lee
National Weather Service

“A National Weather Service Flash Flood Warning was issued at 8:42am Monday for roughly the western two-thirds of Howard County.

This Flash Flood Warning was issued where flash flooding was expected, and where the heaviest rain ended up falling.

While the western edge of the town limits of Ellicott City was in this Flash Flood Warning, the majority of the town east of the warning was not (including historic Ellicott City).

According to Howard County’s Office of Emergency Management, the siren system for Ellicott City activates from a NWS Flash Flood Warning only when historic Ellicott City is included within the Flash Flood Warning.”


I saw a few posts online about the siren system in Historic Ellicott City and questions as to why they did not activate today. Hopefully everyone will see the notification from EC Safe and Sound and now understand.

Scott E