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Image: Ellicott City flash flood

In Focus

Flash floods devastate Ellicott City, Maryland

In just two hours, more than 6 inches of rain fell, and the Patapsco River rose 17 feet, submerging the green valley in muddy waters.

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Image: Ellicott City flash flood

Workers clear a car from the creek behind a business facing Main Street on Monday, a day after a devastating flood ripped through Ellicott City, Maryland. 

The power of the flash floods ripped small buildings from their foundations, lifted cars and scattered them like toys, and forced more than two dozen rescues in the historic mill town of 65,000 people. 

Katherine Frey / The Washington Post via Getty Images
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Ellicott Mills Drive on Monday after parts of the road were washed away.

The torrent of floodwaters that raged through downtown Ellicott City on Sunday took many residents by surprise.

Although the roiling waters had receded by early Monday, the scenes of devastation looked worse than they did two years ago, residents said, when what was called a "once-every-thousand-years flood" killed two people and nearly wiped out Main Street.

Katherine Frey / The Washington Post via Getty Images
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A car was swept into the riverbank just off Main Street.

David McFadden / AP
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Kelli Myers, who owns two businesses that were flooded, and her son Sam were rescued on Sunday.

Katherine Frey / The Washington Post via Getty Images
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Water rushes through Main Street on Sunday. Many residents of Ellicott City had just finished rebuilding from a major flood two years ago. 

Libby Solomon / The Baltimore Sun via AP
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Sam Myers, second from left, and his mother, Kelli, were rescued Sunday from a record store where they had taken refuge.

Katherine Frey / The Washington Post via Getty Images
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Rescue workers check cars for victims on Sunday.

Katherine Frey / The Washington Post via Getty Images
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A car is flooded in a lot on Sunday.

Kenneth K. Lam / The Baltimore Sun via AP
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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency for the community in Howard County, west of Baltimore. He is expected to ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help.

Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA
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A damaged building on Main Street on Sunday.

Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA
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Water swirls past a car that was swept into the riverbank and smashed by a fallen tree just off Main Street.

David McFadden / AP
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Rescue workers examine damage on Main Street on Sunday. 

Lim Lo Scalzo / EPA
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A car on its side on Main Street on Sunday.

Jim Lo Sclazo / EPA
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Much of the devastation from two years ago had already been repaired when Sunday's storm struck, Howard County Executive Alan Kittleman said, and more than 90 percent of the businesses on Main Street had reopened.

Jim Lo Sclazo / EPA
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