Praying for Ellicott City after devastating flash flood

I had never seen Ellicott City’s historic downtown until John suggested that we go to dinner there on our first date 13 years ago. After a Saturday evening Mass at St. Mark’s in Catonsville, we drove into the town and enjoyed dinner together at Cacao Lane.
Then we walked together, as we explored a town full of hundreds of years of history and so much personality and charm.

At the time Ellicott City was just a midpoint between our homes, but something about it kept bringing us back. The day after our wedding John and I found ourselves stopping by what was then Fisher’s Bakery for rum buns, sitting at a little table there and watching people pass on the sidewalk outside.
We bought our first home in Oella, which is a short walk up the Trolley Trail from Ellicott City. I’ve no idea how many times we’ve visited the restaurants along that main street, shopped in the stores, and counted the train cars as the trains thundered over the bridge and through the town. For years we were regulars at the B&O Museum there and also briefly parishioners at St. Paul Catholic Church, which is just up the hill. Ellicott City is a lovely, fascinating place, the kind of spot you can visit again and again and discover something new.

Whenever we drive through historic Ellicott City, our children always hope we will hit a red light so we can pause and watch for a train, do a little window shopping from our car, or see the bubble man’s seasonal outfit as he blows bubbles outside the Forget-Me-Not Factory.
When I saw the first photos of the severe flash flood that hit Ellicott City‘s historic downtown, I couldn’t believe the destruction. And, although I haven’t been to see the area myself, I hear that the photos and videos do not fully capture the damage. Tragically, two people lost their lives in the flooding. They and their loved ones are in my prayers.
Today it is hard to imagine how Ellicott City will rebuild. But it will. Even before this devastating damage and loss, the shopkeepers and restaurant owners have had their challenges in a location where parking can be hard to come by and big chain stores draw so many potential customers.

The business owners there are a strong, dedicated group, and they will rally—especially with the help and support of the community. (The Baltimore Sun offers some ways to help at the end of this story.)

What does Ellicott City, Md., mean to you? I would love to hear your thoughts and memories as we pray for all those affected by the flash flood of July 30, 2016.

Also see:

St. Paul a place of refuge in catastrophic Ellicott City Floodc Ellicott City Flood

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.