Railway Preservation News

Ellicott City (Md.) RR Station Museum Flooding
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Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Sun Jul 31, 2016 4:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Ellicott City (Md.) RR Station Museum Flooding

Quick update from the RyPN regular likely to be living closest:

The national news media is awash (sorry) with reports of the catastrophic flash flooding that hit Ellicott City, Md. last night.

The cause of the flooding was extremely localized rainfall in the immediate vicinity, dumping four and a half inches in one hour and a total of 6.5-8 inches depending on the exact location of the rain gauge. This rain atop a plateau to the west of the town funneled the runoff down four separate creeks into one main creek, Tiber Creek, atop which the town's main street and downtown is LITERALLY built.

The downtown is, indeed, devastated. This particular flooding was worse than previous storms in 2011 and 1972, where the culprit was the Patapsco River, not Tiber Creek. However, the USGS flood gauge on the Patapsco a mile upstream from the Tiber Creek mouth, normally at 1-2 feet, hit 14 feet for a few minutes before receding to four feet an hour later.

The Ellicott City RR Museum, "oldest railroad station in North America," is directly adjacent to the junction of Tiber Creek and the Patapsco. The museum, along with the ENTIRE downtown district, is closed to the public until further notice, according to their Facebook page:

The Main Depot and Freight House are still standing this morning. Due to the extensive damage in the area, it will take some time before officials can enter the buildings for a complete inspection. We'll post more info as it becomes available. Thanks!

Please understand: The station/museum has been through this before. Repeatedly. For longer and deeper. The station and its artifacts should not have been at risk, as the building has long been laid out so nothing irreplaceable should be on the lower levels.

In Baltimore, a similar thunderstorm unleashed damaging flooding in the Jones Falls Valley, but the Baltimore Streetcar Museum escaped unscathed--just sweeping a minimum of water out of the northern floor of the car barn, all from runoff from an adjacent hill and the CSX main line overhead.

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ellicott City (Md.) RR Station Museum Flooding

Update an hour ago from the B&O Railroad Museum, overseers of the Ellicott City RR Station Museum:

The Board of Directors and Staff of the B&O Railroad Museum and The Ellicott City Station wish to express their heartfelt sympathy to the families who are enduring sorrow over the tragic loss of life from Saturday's historic flood in Ellicott City, Maryland. To our Main Street neighbors, both residents and businesses, we extend our thoughts to you and send our warm wishes.

Many of you have inquired about any damage done to Ellicott City Station, America's Oldest Surviving Railroad Station. It was not until last evening that museum officials were able to enter the building. We are extremely pleased to report that, other than some minor damage to electric wires and ductwork in a crawl space, the Station is safe, secure and undamaged as are the artifacts and equipment within.

Due to the massive cleanup and recovery efforts in Ellicott City, the B&O Railroad Museum Ellicott City Station will remain closed for some time to come. To keep updated on the progress or the Station's eventual reopening, please visit http://www.borail.org/ECS-2016-Flood-Report.aspx.

Courtney B. Wilson
Executive Director

Author:  Andy J [ Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ellicott City (Md.) RR Station Museum Flooding

Thanks for the update, been wondering about it for a while now.

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