Relaxing evening out with friends...
Sipping margaritas at La Palapa's with friends and catching up on each other's latest exploits while watching the rain fall in front of our table, we couldn't have imagined what the evening had in store.
As we chatted, the rain started falling harder so the waitress closed the front windows. Then water started to seep in and cover the floor so we wondered if we should leave. Outside the water rushed down the street as the water inside the restaurant rose quickly. We weren't going anywhere! People stood on chairs while others looked for a way to reach higher ground.
we are at la palapa in downtown Elicott City w Friends. The restaurant is flooded and the streets have high water washing cars away. We are staying here for now. A little scary! Please stay home.
We are standing on chairs
Evacuated restaurant on someone's porch
Someone shouted that it was time to go so we pulled out a couple $20s, sloshed our way to the hostess stand to leave money for our drinks, and rushed out of the restaurant into the pouring rain. A gentleman in a blue shirt yelled at folks to hurry while he anxiously pulled restaurant patrons up over a concrete barrier. We ran to a set of stairs leading to someone's porch - where about 20 of us took shelter, relieved to be out of harm's way. It's amazing that a 50 yard dash in the rain brought us so quickly to higher ground and safety!
Shelter from the storm...
The kind woman who belonged to the home attached to the porch brought us towels and water and offered to help in any way she could while we waited for the storm to pass and the water to recede.
We are at the Roger Carter center in EC w Friends. Our car is probably totaled due to water damage. It washed out of the pArking lot. Will let u know if we need anything
The rain slowed to a steady drizzle so we walked to the nearest intersection where first responders blocked the roads and were heading downhill with life rafts. They told us to head uphill a few blocks to the Roger Carter Community Center where we could wait out the storm and figure out how to get home.
Historic Ellicott City - Flood on July 30, 2016
Photos from the flash flood:
"Two Dead, 100 Rescued After Flooding Causes Tremendous Devastation in Maryland"
What caused the flood?
The article Historic Flood in Ellicott City from the Baltimore Sun recounts historic floods since the town's founding in 1772. The worst flood was in 1868 when 43 people were killed as the Patapsco River rose 20 feet.
Historic Ellicott City is located in a vulnerable location at the bottom of a valley where the Patapsco River and several of its tributaries flow through. The urban area is covered with impermeable surfaces where water flows over the ground rather than seeping into the ground.
This particular day was very humid - a lot of "precipitable" water was in the air, moisture that could fall as rain.
Air currents from the east and west came together over Maryland bringing more humid air with them. This coupled with other air movements led to a weather event that could not have been predicted.
"Flash flood warning essentially becomes a “nowcasting” exercise: Once those storms have formed, you try to stay ahead of where they will track and how long they will persist. There is almost always never any lead time."
"This is How an Off the Charts Flood Ravaged Ellicott City"
We feel so fortunate that we came out of this just fine, and all of our friends and family are fine! We're driving a rental car while we wait for the insurance company to help us get a new car, which is a small inconvenience compared to those who lost homes, businesses, and their lives.
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