Body found by searchers following destructive flooding

David Mcfadden
Associated Press

Ellicott City, Md. – The body of an adult male has been found by searchers scouring the riverbed near a historic Maryland town that has been ravaged by destructive flash flooding.

Crews have been hunting for 39-year-old Eddison Hermond, who was reported missing Sunday following torrential rains that prompted destructive flash flooding in historic Ellicott City.

In a Tuesday tweet, Howard County Police said they are still awaiting identification of the body and will announce more information as soon as possible.

Police say Hermond was last seen early Sunday evening trying to help a woman rescue her cat behind a restaurant while seething brown waters surged through the downtown.

Some people in picturesque Ellicott City – established in 1772 as a Patapsco River mill town surrounded by hills – say they’re determined to rebuild after Sunday’s devastation. Their hope: to pull together as a community again after the second terrible flood deluged their downtown in less than two years.

Simon Cortes, owner of La Palapa Grill & Cantina, said Monday it’s “a horrible time,” and his business took on about a foot (30 centimeters) of water. But he says the town has been through it all before, and he’ll do his part to spur another revival.

“I feel like it’s our duty to make sure that we rebuild and open back up,” said Cortes, whose restaurant is right by the spot where a 39-year-old man was swept away by Sunday’s raging floodwaters.

Others are stretched to the breaking point by the floods, which tore up streets and swept away dozens of cars in the quaint downtown of historic 18th and 19th century buildings, which sit in a ravine about 13 miles (20 kilometers) west of Baltimore.

Now the locals face yet another massive cleanup, serious economic losses and a daunting comeback.