County Executive Ball Releases Statement On Storm Cleanup in Howard County
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball has released the following statement on the storm that impacted Howard County on October 31, 2019:
Last night, Howard County and the region experienced severe thunderstorms, leaving 631 of our homes without power, as of 8:30 a.m. according to BGE. As we work to restore power to those affected, we have also taken action to monitor our waterways and clear our roads across the entire county.
As part of my Ellicott City Safe and Sound plan, I ordered an enhanced stream cleaning process on 9 waterways in the county any time the county has a rainfall of two inches or greater in a 24-hour period, or after an hour of sustained winds more than 30 mph. Last night’s storm triggered this process, and we have already begun inspecting the waterways. Debris removal will begin next week and you can track this process online here.
Across all of Howard County, our safety personnel were closely watching the weather last night and are hard at work this morning to make sure all our neighborhoods are accessible, dry, and safe.
In Ellicott City, emergency managers, stormwater management experts, and other public safety personnel were closely monitoring the weather in our Emergency Operations Center and we had first responders on the scene to ensure safety and give us additional eyes on the situation.
As a result of flooding in the building, the Roger Carter Community Center is currently closed. For updates on re-opening, residents can call the drop-in line at 410-313-2764, starting on Monday at 5:00 a.m.
At approximately 10:15 p.m., water in the West End overran its banks, causing the Howard County Police Department and the Howard County Office of Emergency Management to close Main Street from Rogers Avenue to the county line. The road was deemed safe and reopened shortly thereafter.
Historic Ellicott City has an emergency alert system that is meant to alert the public only when flash flooding is imminent. The tones will be triggered anytime a flash flood warning is issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) or if our county public safety personnel deem them necessary. An areal flood warning (for floods that develop more gradually) was issued by NWS, but no flash flood warning was sent out. Since our emergency alert tones are only for imminent flash flooding, and indications on the ground did not point toward a risk of flash flooding, the decision was made not to trigger the alarms.
I want to thank everyone in Howard County who helped us last night to monitor the weather and keep our residents safe. As always, I am proud of all our first responders and grateful for their service to protect our community.