Flash flood surges through Maryland community

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) — Flash floods struck a Maryland city on Sunday that had been wracked by similar devastation two years earlier, prompting emergency rescues as raging waters engulfed cars and rose above the first floor of some buildings, authorities said.

News outlets showed local photos and video of the turbulent floodwaters cascading down Main Street in Ellicott City, some 13 miles (20 kilometers) west of Baltimore. The community set along the west bank of Maryland's Patapsco River, was stricken by deadly flash flooding in July 2016.

Authorities said they had no immediate reports of fatalities or injuries. But information was still preliminary and even Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who declared a state of emergency for the flooded community, was headed there late Sunday for a firsthand look.

Footage of Sunday's flash flooding showed water surging around cars and pickup trucks and coursing over the top of their wheels. The Howard County Fire & EMS agency tweeted that water was above the first floor of some buildings.

Some residents of Ellicott City told The Baltimore Sun the flooding appeared to be worse than the 2016 flooding that killed two people and destroyed local businesses.

The National Weather Service said a flash flood warning has been issued for the area through Sundya evening, calling it an "extremely dangerous situation" and urging motorists not to attempt to navigate flooded roads.

The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services tweeted that multiple rescues were carried out, and rescue swimmers were called in to help. The department also said swift water units from as far away as Northern Virginia were coming to help.

"If you are trapped, we are coming," tweeted.

Officials opened a shelter at a community center in Ellicott City.

There were no reports of fatalities, said Howard County spokeswoman Karen Spicer.

Meanwhile, some roads were also flooded in neighboring Baltimore County. A spokeswoman in Baltimore County said the fire department has received dozens of calls about cars stuck in high water and flooded basements.