Flash floods have sent cars floating down roads in Ellicott City, Maryland - less than two years after a devastating flood killed two people and caused millions in damages. There were not immediately any reports of injuries or fatalities.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for the area Sunday evening, calling it an "extremely risky situation" and urging motorists not to attempt to navigate flooded roads. In some areas, water levels reached above the first floor of buildings, Howard County Fire and EMS said.
Jessica Ur, a server at a cafe on the city's Main Street, told The Baltimore Sun she saw the gushing brown waters carry three or four parked cars down the street. The water spilled into doors and windows and twisted traffic lights. "It's significantly higher than it was before", she told the Baltimore Sun.
The fast-flowing waters toppled buildings and trees and swept away cars in the historic center of the mill town.
As they rushed across Main Street, the water went from a trickle at their feet to their knees.
"We had a very, very heavy cell move over us, and it just unloaded and did not let up", he said.
Authorities say Ellicott City, on the west bank of Maryland's Patapsco River, is prone to periodic flooding. "The ground was washing away beneath us".
"The place looked terrific", he said.
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When she reached her son on the phone, the newlywed asked her why they had gotten out of the vehicle.
An emergency warning was issued by the National Weather Service at 4:40 p.m.
He said: "We're just asking people to not come to Ellicott City".
In addition to the flooding in Ellicott City, flooding was also reported elsewhere in Howard County and in neighboring Baltimore City and county.
"To say lightning strikes twice is basically what's happening", Halveson said.
He said the storm could drop 250mm or so of rain before it wound down.
Kittleman said the damage was significant and appeared to him to be worse than the flooding two summers ago.