ELLICOTT CITY, MD — As flash floods ripped through Ellicott City, Angelina Brannigan was trapped inside her clothing boutique screaming for help. Across the street, another woman heard her and called 911.
“She’s right now standing on top of her counter screaming,” the woman told a dispatcher. “She’s screaming at the top of her lungs.”
A series of 911 calls released by the Howard County Police on Tuesday detailed the chaos and fear after a massive storm triggered flash floods in Ellicott City on Sunday, killing an Army National Guardsman.
As water quickly flooded buildings and upended cars, police say, 911 dispatchers received more than 1,100 calls and emergency responders conducted 300 rescues.
Brannigan was rescued after she broke her storefront window, letting some water flow out of the building, she wrote on Facebook.
“I prayed while I waited to be rescued. I have no upstairs so I was trapped,” she wrote. “Words can not express the fear I had while holding on.”
‘Are we gonna die, ma’am?’
Dozens of patrons ran to the upper floor at Tea on the Tiber — a Victorian tea room in the historic downtown — when water quickly rushed inside, turning tables and pushing through the walls.
“We are coming as fast as we can,” a dispatcher said.
“Are we gonna die, ma’am?,” the caller asked.
“Honey, I’m going to do my best so that does not happen,” the dispatcher replied.
Right before tying the knot, a bride, a groom and dozens of their wedding guests were forced to find shelter at nearby Mexican restaurant.
“The river basically flooded out the whole thing and we evacuated to this restaurant,” the wedding planner said. “Many people’s cars have been washed away.”
“We’re in the heart of the flood,” a second person calling from the restaurant said. “We were trying to get them all up.”