A Heartbreaking Flash Flood Has Hit Historic Ellicott City, Maryland… And Here’s What We Know

By now, all of Maryland and nearly the entire country has heard about the horrific flash flood that decimated Historic Ellicott City on the night of Saturday, July 30th. Those who were unaware that night, awoke to upsetting photographs and videos all over social media. Residents of Main Street lost everything within a mere few hours, and two people lost their lives.

The following video was shot from the second floor of Portalli’s Restaurant, and shows just how dangerous the flooding became in a matter of minutes.

We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/nominate/

Youtube / Nezacant

Sara Arditti, owner of Still Life Gallery Fine Art & Custom Framing shared the below video on her Facebook page. This remarkable capture shows a group of residents forming a human chain to rescue a woman from her car.

Facebook / Sara Arditti

The aftermath is truly devastating. Seth Hoffman captured this video, starting towards the top of the hill on Main Street and making his way down. It’s almost unbelievable to see sidewalks completely demolished and storefronts destroyed.

Youtube / HowardCountyGov

As saddening as all of this is, one thing is for certain. Ellicott City will get through this and thrive once more. This pleasant little town has been prone to flooding for decades but time and time again, picks up the pieces and rebuilds. There is a reason they keep rebuilding, and it’s the same reason people continue to visit. There is no place quite like Historic Ellicott City.

Devoid of chain restaurants and stores, Ellicott City thrives on unique, family-owned businesses. With a plethora of antique shops, cozy eateries, and town events, this Maryland gem is like taking a step back in time. While most of Maryland continues rapid development, this area remains simple. Friendly store owners greet passersby as they take pride in the one-of-a-kind business they’ve built. A place where everybody knows your name and a place where you feel at home. This is the Ellicott City we all know and love, and this is the Ellicott City that will persevere.

Recovery will be a long process and although only business owners are allowed in the area at this time, there are several ways that you can help. I’ll be at a few of these events and I hope you will as well. Even if you don’t have money to donate, simply donating rubber gloves, or purchasing a meal at one of the following participating businesses can make a difference.

Here are the ways you can help…

  • Click here to make a monetary donation to the Ellicott City Partnership.


  • United Way of Central Maryland has set up a fund for relief in Ellicott City. Click here to donate.


  • Preservation Maryland is raising funds to help restore the historic properties. Donate here.


  • Sign this Google doc if you’re interested in volunteering to clean-up, provide meals, or more. Ellicott City is not currently open to clean-up volunteers but once it is, you will be contacted.


  • Head to the Howard County Food Bank Monday through Friday from 8:30am-4pm at 8920 Route 108, Columbia. Donations requested include…
    -High protein canned meals with pop-tops
    -Single serve, ready to eat (breakfast, snack, or energy) bars
    -paper plates
    -plastic forks and spoons
    -baby food



  • Boyscout Troop 432 will be collecting supplies for flood clean-up on Wednesday August 3rd from 6-8pm at Grace Episcopal, 6725 Montgomery Rd, Elkridge. Items needed include…
    -Dust Masks
    -Large Sponges
    -rubber gloves
    -garbage cans
    -cash donations
    -cases of water



  • Jaibreak Brewing Company in Laurel is hosting a fundraiser on Thursday August 4th from 3-10pm. They are offering free brewery tours and will donate half of the night’s proceeds towards charities assisting in recovery efforts. Giggy’s BBQ and Catering and Kona Ice of Howard County food trucks will also be there, and they are also donating half of their proceeds as well. Donations are strongly encouraged.


  • Portside Tavern in Canton is hosting a fundraiser on Friday August 5th from 6-11pm. They are asking for donations of at least $10 at the door, and ALL of the donations will go to the Ellicott City Partnership. Guests who donate will receive a wristband for food and drink specials.


  • The Pottery Stop on Baltimore National Pike will donate 15% of their sales now through Sunday August 7th to the Ellicott City Partnership.


  • Noodles & Company at Columbia Crossing and the Columbia Mall will donate 25 percent of their sales from Saturday August 6th and Sunday August 7th to the Ellicott City Partnership. Both locations are also celebrating Family Weekend, where you can receive a free childrens’ meal with the purchase of any regular entree.


  • Heavy Seas Brewery in Halethorpe is donating 50 percent of their sales Saturday August 6th from 12-10pm, and Sunday August 7th from 11am-5pm to the Ellicott City Partnership. They will also accept donations of clean-up supplies.


  • Twist and Turn Tavern in Highland will accept donations during a live show on Friday August 19th with rock band Out of Order.



***If you know of other ways to help Historic Ellicott City, please share.