It's surreal to see one's hometown on the news. Even more so when it's because a terrible thousand-year flood has destroyed businesses, wrecked a town, and taken several lives.
There is some sense of helplessness that sets in, seeing all that can transpire in less than two hours. Yet, this community has thrown aside that sense of helplessness and replaced it firmly with heroism, sacrifice, courage, and selflessness.
How many people formed human chains to rescue those whose cars were caught by the current? How many kickstarter campaigns sprung up to fund the rebuilding? How any local businesses put fundraisers together and pledged to forego significant profits to catalyze the rebuilding?
Incredible effort has gone into rebuilding. There there is much to do, and it will be weeks and months until all is accomplished.
What can the average person do today?
- Back one of the many fundraiser campaigns still ongoing!
- Visit the Ellicott City merchants at Turf Valley. The resort has kindly offered them space to sell their goods. Go into the main hotel entrance, take the stairs down past Alexandra's, and follow the signs. They're open Friday thru Sunday.
- Get back downtown. Some businesses, such as The Wine Bin and Judge's Bench, are open again, with more to come. In particular, go visit the Old Mill Bakery Cafe. Several Ellicott City merchants tell me they're among the hardest hit by the lack of traffic downtown. You have to take a longer route, yes, but you can get there in short order by taking Illchester Road. It's most likely the quickest alternative to coming around Route 40 or 695 and down through Catonsville.
Let's rebuild, love our neighbors, and bear one another's burdens.