Flash floods struck a Maryland city on Sunday that had been wracked by similar devastation two years earlier, prompting emergency rescues as raging waters engulfed cars and rose above the first floor of some buildings, authorities said.
Authorities in Howard County have issued what they're calling a "precautionary health alert" after a sewage main broke following torrential rains that prompted destructive flash flooding.
Ellicott City was still recovering from a flash flood two years ago that killed two and forced the historic city to rebuild much of its Main Street.
He said Hermond was helping a woman who wanted to leave the Ellicott City restaurant, when he lost his balance and was swept away by the current.
The previous massive flood left two people dead in July 2016.
Hermond is a sergeant with the National Guard and an Air Force veteran. Local officials recently said 96 percent of the businesses were back in operation and more than 20 new businesses had again opened in the Main Street area.
Simon Cortes, owner of La Palapa Grill & Cantina, said Monday it's "a frightful time", and his business took on about a foot (30 centimeters) of water.
Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman has told reporters his immediate priorities were finding Hermond and assessing the condition of damaged buildings, shops and restaurants. In addition to the flooding in Ellicott City, flooding was also reported elsewhere in Howard County and in neighboring Baltimore City and county.
"We're deeply saddened to learn that the body of Sgt. Eddison Hermond has been found". Kittleman said he is in his 40s and does not live in the historic district, but he did not identify him further.
After floods devastated Ellicott City in 2016, killing two people, it was called a "once in 1,000 years flood".
Nathan Sowers, an Ellicott City resident and business owner, told The Associated Press he was feeling overwhelmed Monday at the prospect of rebuilding again.
Some people reported hearing a blaring alarm during the flooding.
Between 24 and 30 emergency rescues took place, including stranded individuals and water rescues.