Just compare the difference in how building in a flood zone looks. Here is what the Patapsco River did to Ellicott City on Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Here is the result from the Patuxent River overflow on Sunday morning
The clean up of the Patuxent River will be taken care of mostly from nature with a little help from humans in removing a few trees. I don't know the cost but it will be minuscule compared to the Ellicott City cleanup. A natural flood plane like what we have with the Patuxent River repairing itself is the reason why building in a flood plane doesn't make much sense.
Ellicott City was built along the Patapsco River to transport goods to and from Ellicott City. When it was built the river was an asset to the community. As we have built up the city along the river and its tributaries it has become a destructive force for the city. With the frequency of destructive storms that we have been having I sometimes question a rebuilding effort that will only get us to the next storm. If we would have had some of the buildings collapse on the Tiber side of Main Street the loss of life would have been much greater. Rebuilding along the Tiber Tributary, without significant changes, should not be an automatic response. What made sense two centuries ago may no longer make sense today.
Just to remember what happened only 5 years ago.
In touring Ellicott City I have always been amazed at how some of one side of Main Street is built over this river tributary. This is one of the tributaries that caused the flooding of Main Street in this weekend's storm. Not my idea of logical town planning. Maybe time to reevaluate some of the structures along Main Street.
For a historical perspective on there is one more challenge for our historic town.