On Saturday, July 30th, the historic old town of Ellicott City was struck with a torrential downfall. The severe flood shook residents, business owners and visitors to their core as they watched cars floating down Main Street and witnessed people fleeing from the vicious currents coming from the Tiber River. Two people died in the storm and many buildings were damaged or essentially destroyed.
One of Vehicle for Change’s employees, Maggie Dier, was in Old Ellicott City that Saturday night. Thankfully she made it out fine, but her car was totaled! Dier explained, “The flood was chaos, with cars washing down the street, some piled up on each other.” She remembers car and emergency alarms going off everywhere, while people lined on the streets terrified. Nonetheless, even with all the chaos she remarked about how amazed she was at how well people worked together to make sure everyone was safe.
Flash flooding is the leading weather-related killer in the United States. Drivers should not be lulled into a sense of security just because they are in a car! Cars are the most dangerous place to be in a flash flood. If you happen to get caught in a flash flood while in the car, all occupants should evacuate immediately and find higher ground! If the water is higher than the bottom of the door, DO NOT open the door because it will let water in. Power windows do not stop working immediately so you should have time to roll them down and get out safely.
Flash floods can happen within the blink of an eye, be careful on the road, and always stay alert to the changing weather patterns!