'Are We Gonna Die, Ma'am?' 911 Calls During Flood Released

Residents, business owners in Maryland's Ellicott City wonder if they can rebuild
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2018 10:45 AM CDT
The owner of a clothing store stands outside her flood-damaged business in Ellicott City, Md., on Tuesday. She said floodwaters trapped her inside while she was closing the store and she broke the window...   (AP Photo/Courtney Columbus)
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(Newser) – "It looks like a Stephen King movie." That was one Ellicott City local's take Tuesday after a "once in 1,000 years" flash flood devastated the Maryland city again Sunday. The Baltimore Sun reports residents, business owners, and officials have started assessing the wreckage as utility workers try to restore power and fix broken water and sewer lines, and at the top of everyone's minds is one question, per USA Today: "Do you rebuild once more?" Ellicott City suffered what the paper calls an "eerily similar flood" in 2016, with significant damage said to cost about $22 million and dozens of businesses impacted. "I honestly don't know if we're going to reopen," the owner of a local toy store says. "This is going to be a tough uphill battle, not just for me but for everyone because there are no more reserves, no more backup or savings. Next year, this might be a ghost town." More on the plight of Ellicott City:

  • "Are we gonna die, ma'am?" That's just one of the terrified voices heard talking to a dispatcher in a set of 911 calls released Tuesday by the Howard County Police, per CNN. Another caller described a horrifying scene across the street, per WTOP: "She's right now standing on top of her counter screaming … she's screaming at the top of her lungs … the water is getting higher and higher … God, this is worse than the last one."

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