Large parts of Maryland are facing one of the worst thunderstorms in decades, prompting Gov. Larry Hogan to sign a declaration of a state of emergency in Ellicott City, Howard County, one of the areas hit hardest by the floods.
The torrent of water caused havoc in the historic mill town in downtown Maryland, turning the once picturesque location into a scene of devastation that officials say could take months to rebuild.
“Workers inspected approximately 200 properties in Ellicott City. Four to five of those properties are destroyed,” said Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman. “Another 20-30 suffered substantial damage. It has yet to be determined when individuals will be allowed to return to their homes and businesses.”
The flash flooding claimed at least two lives — 35-year-old Jessica Watsula and a 38-year-old Joseph Anthony Blevins. Rescue workers discovered their bodies about two miles down the Patapsco River in Baltimore County.
A Facebook user, Sara Arditti, even shared a clip showing a group of bystanders forming a human chain to save a woman trapped in her car.
The footage was captured in Ellicott City, which received almost 15 centimeters of rain in less than two hours on Saturday.
Several people took to social media to share photos and video from the thunderstorms.
As BuzzFeed reports, flooding swept away at least 170 vehicles that are being towed from walkways, the river and other places.