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Ellicott City in Howard County is confused. It was affected by flash flooding in 2016. At that time it was touted as a once-in-a-1000-year incident, but the same thing has happened again in 2018. The aftermath of the flood two years back damaged the Main Street and large sections of it had to be rebuilt.

Baltimore Sun reports that this time, once again, Main Street faced the brunt of the flood – it was the epicenter. Cars were submerged under the water, and many businesses had to suffer for nearly two hours. The scenes brought back memories of 2016 when customers were stranded in restaurants, storefronts were destroyed, and vehicles overturned.

Gov. Larry Hogan has called the incident "devastating" and declared a state of emergency. He has also directed the authorities to assist in the recovery effort.

The situation is grim

When there is a flash flood, it throws life out of gear, and everyone (including the administration) is caught unawares. Two years back, Ellicott City in Howard County suffered enormous losses which affected its businesses also. In the opinion of observers, the present damage is similar. Apart from loss of business, many people do not have power, and that could go on for a while, as equipment could get damaged and could require repairs.

Only recently Gov. Larry Hogan announced that the state and county had been awarded funds by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to carry out projects that would help to reduce the risk of flooding in danger zones.

In light of the latest developments, businesses may have to reconsider their strategy, because before they could fully recover from the previous incident, this one occurred. The options seem to be to rebuild once more, or to completely relocate.

Is it due to global warming?

Flood is a natural phenomenon but when it is described as a flash flood, it becomes a man-made disaster. Some people instinctively recoil at the mention of global warming but they have to accept the fact that climatic catastrophes are on the rise and the effects of CO2 emissions could be a contributory factor. Last year three hurricanes lashed the United States in quick succession and the disruption in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria has crippled its electrical grid. Puerto Rico has not yet fully recovered.

According to the National Weather Service, Ellicott City received 7.48 inches of rain, while the Catonsville area received 9.71 inches. However, the corresponding figures from 2016 were not available for comparison.