Norm’s Doors normally features impressive doors. This week I’m taking a leap and featuring doors of tragedy and hope.
A bit of background
Ellicott City sits in a valley that leads down to the Potapsco River. Over the years the city flooded, the most recent in my memory was as the result of Hurricane Agnes in June of 1972. At that time the Potapsco River rose out of its banks and flooded the foot of Main Street up to the second floor of the buildings located nearby, and the ground floors for most of length of the city. In a way that was a ‘gentle’ flood that lasted a couple of days. The shops dried out, dug out the mud and finally re-opened. Since then the city rebuilt and became a thriving mecca for tourists. The flood on July 30th this year took place in about an hour.
About 1-1/2 miles west of the city Md Route 144 starts downhill in the center of the valley, it’s also known as Main Street and parallels a normally gently flowing stream. In the business district is is known as Tiber River.
Two Months Ago
The night of July 30th, 2016 changed Ellicott City. A major storm settled just west of the town and dumped 6″ of water in a couple of hours. Present day development left nowhere for the water to go, but down the Tiber River. As the rain continued the stream became a torrent. Since the town is built in the valley with hills on both sides of Main Street and the Tiber River, when the water overflowed the banks the only place for it to go was down Main Street, in spots reaching depths of over 6′. And to add the troubles, many of the buildings were built over the stream. The rushing water that ran under the buildings wasn’t gentle on them either. Most of the buildings on the stream side of Main Street have serious damage to the foundations.
The water flowing down Main Street swept most of the sidewalk bricks and close to 200 cars down into the Potapsco River. It wasn’t the Potapsco that caused most of the damage, but the Tiber.
Finally Main St is open
Since the floods, the downtown area was closed to the public, even the owners and residents could not get to their properties without scheduling a short trip with safety engineers. Finally after two months Main Street is open. But not much else. I took the walk to get some photos for Norm’s Doors weekly challenge. They are not the grand glorious doors we all like to see, but these are ‘real’. It could happen almost anywhere. They mostly have the signs “Opening Soon” Lots of optimism and hope. I stopped in one shop that was open, relocated next door to where it did business before the flood. “We’re Back In Business”, said the shop owner, with a big smile, but there were very few shoppers, not many parking places were open.
Now for the photos
The rest of the doors in this post are not as good looking
Some beauty and humor
Eyewitness to the disaster
Here’s a link to a video taken during the flood, from the second floor of a restaurant over Main St.