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Baltimore flash flooding: State of emergency in Ellicott City

A STATE of emergency has been declared in Maryland as flash floods and dramatic water rescues unfolded as parts of the state have become overwhelmed with heavy rains.

Governor Larry Hogan announced the state of emergency on Twitter, and noted he’s directed the state’s emergency management agency “to assist in any compacity possible.”

Fox News reports, Ellicott City, on the outskirts of Baltimore, was experiencing “significant” flash flooding on Sunday, local time.

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media_cameraHeavy flash flooding in Ellicott City. Picture: Supplied
media_cameraIn some places the waters were at least a storey high. Picture: Supplied
media_cameraThe flooding is said to be worst than that which devastated the area two years ago. Picture: Supplied

Videos posted to social media show the city’s Main Street — the same street devastated by flash flooding in July 2016 — inundated with severe floods as mountains of water rushed through the area.

Floodwaters surged around cars and pickup trucks as torrential rain and strong winds hit the area. In the footage, muddy waters a story high can be seen rushing through the downtown area like a river, carrying vehicles and devastating the ground floors of numerous buildings.

The Howard County Fire & EMS agency tweeted that water was above the first floor of some buildings.

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A flash flood warning was issued by the National Weather Service on Sunday evening for Anne Arundel and Howard counties in central Maryland, which means “that flooding is imminent or occurring.”

The flooding could be worse than that which devastated the area two years ago, when a storm killed two people and destroyed some local businesses. At the time that was considered a 1-in-a-1000-year event.

“It is equally devasting, if not more so, than the flood of July 30, 2016,” county spokesman Mark Miller told The Baltimore Sun.

media_cameraFlash flooding covers Rogers Avenue and Main Streets in Ellicott City, Maryland. Picture: AP
media_cameraThe Baltimore area has week hit by weeks of adverse weather conditions. Picture: AFP

“Right now, we’re solely focused on making sure everyone is safe and no one is injured or dies as a result of this flooding.”

Emergency officials warn that those in the Ellicott City area remains indoors and stay off the roads until the storm passes.

Residents have been warned more rain is on the way.

Authorities had no immediate report of any injuries or fatalities though information is still preliminary.

Numerous water rescues were reported after heavy rain drenched the state and sent raging brown water surging down Main Street in Ellicott City and past vehicles.

Authorities said Ellicott City, on the west bank of Maryland’s Patapsco River, is prone to periodic flooding.

Originally published as Incredible footage of Baltimore under water

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