A National Guardsman has gone missing after he tried to rescue people while roaring flash floods struck a Maryland city on Sunday.
Eddison Hermond was last seen trying to help others during the Ellicott City flooding when he was swept away by the waters around 5.20pm.
Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman says a man was reported missing to police about 12.30am on Monday. He is in his forties and is not a resident of the historic district.
Friends frantically shared the Air Force veteran’s image on Facebook and said witnesses saw him being swept toward Patapsco River.
National Guardsman Eddison Hermond was last seen trying to help others during the Ellicott City, Maryland flooding when he was swept away by the waters
Friends frantically shared the Air Force veteran’s image on Facebook, who said witnesses saw him being swept toward Patapsco River
‘Local news is saying no one is missing, but we don’t know where our brother is,’ Bonnie Hoppa wrote on Facebook.
‘Please, please, please, if you know where Eddison is, we are extremely worried.’
Howard County officials have since confirmed that one person is missing and swift water rescue, trucks, and ATVs have been deployed in search efforts. As of Monday morning Hermond was still missing.
Kittleman said emergency workers are ‘making every effort to locate that individual’.
Hoppa described Hermond as 6ft tall with an ‘athletic build’. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and black shorts.
Violent floodwaters surged through Ellicott City on Sunday, sweeping away dozens of cars and toppling buildings as more than 8 inches of rain dumped down in five hours.
Violent floodwaters surged through Ellicott City on Sunday, sweeping away dozens of cars and toppling buildings as more than 8 inches of rain dumped down in five hours
Dramatic photos and video emerged showing fast-moving torrents of brown water rushing down Main Street in Ellicott City, just outside Baltimore
Dramatic footage emerged of a man desperately trying to escape flash flooding in Maryland on Sunday as torrents of brown water swept away a building and multiple cars around him. A woman said he was rescued moments later
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for the city late in the afternoon and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency soon after.
‘This is a catastrophic and life-threatening extremely dangerous situation,’ the weather alert warned.
Footage taken by one witness showed the town’s historic stone cottage being completely swept away and destroyed by the turbulent currents.
A man was captured in one video desperately trying to reach safety as half a dozen cars floated near him. The woman who shot the video, Natalie Walterhoefer, said the man was rescued moments later and was safe.
The flash floods prompted emergency rescues as the raging waters engulfed cars and rose above the first floor of some buildings
Footage taken by bystanders showed waves of water rushing through the city’s Main Street as it engulfed cars and reached as high as six-foot
The horror flash flooding in Maryland transformed streets into raging rivers as torrential rain soaked much of the state
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for the city, warning that it was a catastrophic and life-threatening situation
Other videos showed waves of water rushing through the city’s Main Street as it surged as high as 6ft at the height of the flash flooding.
Thirty rescues were carried out into Monday morning, officials told CNN.
The Patapsco River rose 17.8ft in two hours to 24.13ft, beating the previous record of 23.6ft.
A spokeswoman in Baltimore County said the fire department has received dozens of calls about cars stuck in high water and flooded basements.
After the floodwaters receded by 8.30pm, emergency officials had no immediate reports of fatalities or injuries.
After the water receded later on Sunday, wrecked cars were strewn across Main Street in Ellicott City
Rescue personnel examine damage on Main Street after a flash flood rushed through the historic town of Ellicott City
By nightfall first responders and rescue officials were still going through the muddied, damaged downtown to assess the damage
By nightfall first responders and rescue officials were still going through the muddied, damaged downtown, conducting safety checks and ensuring people evacuated.
Main Street remained blocked off, even to residents and business owners, on Monday.
Flood warnings remained for the Anne Arundel, Prince Georges, and Howard counties on Monday, but the threat of more heavy rain and flash flooding has passed, according to NBC Washington.
But left in its wake is a town that must rebuild after only just recently recovering from similar destruction.
The community set along the west bank of Maryland’s Patapsco River was stricken by deadly flash flooding two years ago.
After the floodwaters receded, emergency officials had no immediate reports of fatalities or injuries
Authorities urged residents on Sunday to seek higher ground immediately and people were being warned to avoid downtown Ellicott City
Water rushes through Main Street in Ellicott City on Sunday as it swept away multiple vehicles
Main Street, where the devastation occurred in Ellicott City on Sunday, is the same area struck by flash flooding in July 2016. In that flood, Ellicott City received 6.6 inches of rain over a two to three hour period.
Some residents of Ellicott City told The Baltimore Sun the flooding appeared to be worse than a storm two years ago that took lives and destroyed local businesses.
Officials said 96 percent of the businesses hit by the flooding were open again before Sunday’s catastrophe hit, and more than 20 new businesses had opened on Main Street.
The city had just this month received $1million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fund projects that would help reduce Main Street’s flood risk.
‘It took two years to get the money and it’s ironic that we just got it this month,’ Gov Hogan said.
‘Nobody expected another storm of this magnitude to come two years later because, as I said, they’re only supposed to happen every 1,000 years.’
Authorities started to carry out water rescues in the streets with one fire department receiving dozens of calls on Sunday
Authorities said they had no immediate reports of any fatalities but rescue crews were still checking flooded buildings and streets
Main Street, where the devastation occurred in Ellicott City on Sunday (pictured above), is the same area struck by flash flooding in July 2016
Kittleman said he considers the damage worse than the flooding two summers ago.
‘It’s hard for me to even understand how this could happen two years later, but clearly this is worse than it was in July of 2016,’ he said. ‘I want to make it very clear to everyone, this is worse.’
‘A lot of the businesses’ first floors are gone like they were two years ago.’
Kittleman said he was ‘heartbroken’ to see the city so severely damaged again so soon.
‘They are faced with the same daunting task again,’ Kittleman said of the the city’s residents and business owners. ‘We will be there for them as we were in 2016,’ he said.
Mike Muccilli, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Virginia, said it was too early to make comparisons between the two floods but said both were devastating.
‘In a normal heavy rain event, you wouldn’t see this amount of flooding, where you see cars floating down the road,’ Muccilli said. ‘This was a true flash flood.’
Cars were engulfed by the torrents of water rushing Ellicott City on Sunday afternoon
Authorities urged residents to seek higher ground immediately and people were being warned to avoid downtown Ellicott City