News & Politics

This Amazing Video Shows a Human Chain Rescuing a Woman from Maryland’s Epic Weekend Flood

A marker shows Ellicott City's previous high-water marks. Photo by Flickr user Frank Monaldo.

Ellicott City, Maryland, was hit over the weekend with major flooding from the Patapsco River, a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. The city has a history of the river over-running its banks—it was hit with a “flood of the century” in 1972 after Hurricane Agnes moved through the Mid-Atlantic region, and as far back as 1868 there are reports of floods whisking through the low-lying downtown region.

Receiving more than two inches of rain in just two hours on Saturday night (for perspective, that’s about as much rain as they would normally expect in a month) sent water careening through the downtown area, destroying or damaging more than 25 buildings, taking two lives, and injuring many others.

This video captures the human toll of the floods, as men form a human chain to rescue a woman trapped in her car by the water, which is surging over its hood. At one point, the man closest to the car is nearly pulled downstream by the fast-moving water. The woman, luckily, was successfully rescued.

A human chain forms to rescue a woman trapped in her car in Ellicott City during flash flooding.

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Hillary writes about interiors, real estate, arts, and culture. She is the former digital media editor of The New Republic, and her work has also been published in Glamour, The New York Times Book Review, and The Washington Post, among others. You can follow her on Instagram @hillarylouisekelly or on Pinterest @hlkelly.