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Uphill Battle For Ellicott City In Post-Flood Recovery

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- With a devastating impact, the historic flooding took Ellicott City by surprise earlier this year. But the flooding also was also major economic impact, to the tune of millions of dollars. More than a hundred people also lost their jobs.

Still, the community is trying to cope with this financial blow. Downtown Ellicott City is slowly grinding back, with some establishments back open for business.

The town has really made a lot of progress, but they have a long way to go. La Palapa was under 10 inches of water, and they were the lucky ones.

"We've never had a drop of water even close to this place. That was just something surreal," said Simon Cortes, La Palapa

Raging waters killed two people on July 30, gutting one building after the other. From one end of Main Street to the next isn't even a quarter of a mile, but there are still huge disparities in their progress. Some businesses at the bottom of Main Street are still boarded up.

Newly released figures show economic activity dipped but a whopping $67 million dollars, and 151 people lost their jobs.

"The numbers are shocking," said Councilman Jon Weinstein, District 1.

Weinstein has seen the devastation first hand.

"It concerns me when some of those businesses can't come back, and they are for a variety of reasons. For some, the building repairs are going to take longer than they can afford to not be open. Some of them, they lost so much that economically for them, they can't come back," said Councilman Weinstein.

But there's progress, as Main Street re-opened last month, and now dozens of businesses are showing signs of life.

"This town is really resilient. We got a lot of great people down here and I'm confident that we will be back," said Cortes.

So far though,the county says 44 businesses are back in operation, and about 28 more are scheduled to come back online in the coming weeks. Work still needs to be done along  Main Street, including on side walks and on some buildings.

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