Ellicott City — located roughly 14 miles west of Baltimore — was hit by nearly 6 inches of rain in less than two hours. Rising floodwaters ripped through buildings, carried away cars and caused the displacement of dozens of residents, according to Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman.
"Workers inspected approximately 200 properties in Ellicott City. Four to five of those properties are destroyed," said Kittleman. "Another 20 to 30 suffered substantial damage. It has yet to be determined when individuals will be allowed to return to their homes and businesses."
The bodies of the victims, identified as Joseph Anthony Blevins, 38, and Jessica Watsula, 35, were recovered after they were both swept away in separate incidents, according to Baltimore County officials.
Videos posted on social media showed a torrent of water gushing down Main Street, carrying away dozens of cars. Some vehicles could be seen resting on top of each other.
One video posted to Facebook showed several people forming a human chain to rescue a woman from a car just as it was being lifted away by the raging current.
Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency for Howard County, making it eligible to receive state assistance and putting in motion the process to obtain federal disaster aid.