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Ellicott City: Finding Strength to Begin Again

flood

I was charging my laptop yesterday when a storm came barreling in—loud bursts of thunder, streaks of lightening, followed by a dramatic downpour of rain. I quickly unplugged my computer to avoid the risk of it being surged.

I had been working on my book at the time and immediately thought “what would happen if I lost my book?” I have an old printed copy whose version is very outdated and other versions of my book have been saved to a cloud, but now that I’m in critical edit mode, keeping my book safe is imperative.

I would be a complete mess if I lost my book—all the hard work I’ve done so far? There are so many twists, turns, and important dialogue that recapturing all of it seems impossible. The thought of it made me want to cry.

Honestly, I don’t know if I could start again.

That was my thinking at 3 p.m. Fast-forward to 4:15 p.m. and I see this:

 

This is historic Ellicott City, 15 minutes from my house. What you are seeing is a flash flood that took place yesterday—a similar flood decimated the same area just two years ago. The flood two years ago caused millions of dollars in damage and cost millions to clean and rebuild the area. Many businesses completely shut down, while others waited out the very lengthy rebuild-process hoping that their businesses could somehow stay afloat while their source of income was non-existent.

My girlfriends and I were there just the night before. We were saying how great it was that historic Ellicott City was able to rebuild. I was especially proud of my friend’s (Dave’s) business, The Wine Bin, whose beautiful store has become a landmark on Main Street. His shop hosts special doggy Yappy (happy) hours and outdoor movie nights; he gives so much of his time, money, and energy to charities and other businesses that people were there to give back. That is not to take away from the devastation and how hard it was for The Wine Bin or any of the restaurants, shops, and bars to re-open.

But Now, AGAIN! How? Why?

I couldn’t sleep last night. The flooding played out in my head repeatedly, along with the memory of Dave having to climb a tree to avoid being washed away or the sheer devastation that resulted. I was mad that better protection barriers were not built. I felt the pain, sadness, and anguish of the current business owners of historic Ellicott City. Again?!

It will take strength, commitment, and fortitude to rebuild–if they decide to rebuild. If so, what protection will these businesses have going forward?

There is one thing that reassures me—and that is the PEOPLE of Ellicott City; they are strong and resilient. They are creative, resourceful, and fighters. They are a community that supports their own and embraces newcomers. They are an inspiration to me! Through their example, I know that I could begin again and THEY WILL TOO (in whatever path they decide to take) because . . .

They are #ECStrong.

If you wish to make a DONATION to the Howard County Community Relief Fund, you can go to the Community Foundation of Howard County’s website at www.cfhoco.org, navigate to the Howard County Community Relief Fund tab, and click “Donate”, or you can mail a check payable to the Community Foundation of Howard County noting “Howard County Community Relief Fund” on the memo line.

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