Man missing after catastrophic flood hits Ellicott City; damage believed worse than 2016

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Eddison Hermond

UPDATE: A body recovered by searches Tuesday has now been identified as missing Maryland man Eddison "Eddie" Hermond, who disappeared during flash floods in Ellicott City, Maryland Sunday night, Howard County Police say.

His body was found by rescue crews in the Patapsco River, just across the Baltimore County line.

As the sun rose over Ellicott City Monday morning emergency workers began assessing the damage following the second devastating flood in the last two years that left the historic Maryland city in ruins and one person missing.

The fast-rising flood waters came Sunday evening during a heavy Memorial Day weekend storm and sent cars floating down Main Street. First responders rushed to the scene to rescue people who had become trapped in buildings along the roadway.

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said during a press conference that one person, identified as 39-year-old Eddison Hermond, was reported missing around 12:30 a.m. Monday. Kittleman said Hermond had last been seen in the area near the La Palapa restaurant around 5:20 p.m. on Sunday.

MORE: How you can help the Ellicott City flooding victims

According to officials, Hermond had been helping to barricade a door from the floodwaters when a woman asked for help finding her cat. Hermond was then swept away by the flood while searching for the feline, officials stated on Monday.

A woman, who said she is a friend of Hermond, posted a photo on Facebook saying he was last seen in the Patapsco River near the Tiber River IVO Parking Lot D. She identified Hermond as a former member of the Air Force and current member of the National Guard.

Sunday's destruction came less than two years after flood waters ripped through the same part of town leaving two people dead and causing millions in damage. Initial damage estimates appear to be higher than the 2016 flood, Kittleman said as he thanked the emergency workers and first responders who worked throughout the night. Besides, Hermond, officials said no other injuries or fatalities have been reported.

“It’s still a disaster scene. It’s hard for me to even understand how this could happen two years later,” Kittleman told reporters. “Clearly this is worse than it was in July of 2016. I want to make it very clear to everybody – this is worse. We don’t have all the details about all the rain amounts but there’s no question that the damage done is worse than in 2016."

Kittleman said that a huge gap - between 25 and 30 feet - opened between Ellicott Mills and Main Street following the heavy rain. He said some of the areas repaired after the 2016 devastation withstood Sunday's flood waters. 

Kittleman said the other priority is to assess the condition of buildings, which contain shops, restaurants and homes. The area remains blocked off, even to residents and business owners.

On Sunday, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan was in Ellicott City and declared a state of emergency. He signed an executive order directing Maryland Department of Emergency Management and other state agencies to provide support. 

Approximately 8 inches of water fell Sunday evening on Ellicott City. Emergency crews performed at least 30 water rescues.