Ellicott City, Maryland Safe and Sound Plan

Following two devastating floods in 2016 and 2018 in Ellicott City, Maryland, the Safe and Sound Plan was developed for the city to implement a multi-phase, comprehensive flood mitigation plan and resilience program. It aims to prepare the region for climate change and guide resilient recovery and rebuilding of the flood-prone areas of Ellicott City through a community-driven process. 

The plan contains two phases across four focal areas including ensuring public safety; supporting business and property owners; maintaining Ellicott City's historic charm; and developing a more inclusive, community-driven planning process. Within these focal areas, the first phase of the plan includes:

  • Building and property acquisitions for flood mitigation and public safety
  • Development of a new emergency public alert system for floods 
  • Updated protocols for clearing waterways following flood events
  • Piloting of the Flood Mitigation Assistance Program which offers matching grants for flood-proofing projects on structures located in specified flood zone areas
  • Working with state partners to further flood management initiatives
  • Creation of a Community Development Corporation (CDC) - an holistic, community advocacy entity -  to weigh in on the city’s development plans

Phase two includes: 

  • Municipal flood mitigation projects
  • Identification of high ground access points with maps and signage
  • Additional property acquisitions and flood-proofing renovations
  • Resume and finalize the city’s Watershed Master Plan 
  • Launch of the capital projects tracker to provide the public with updated status of capital projects associated with the flood mitigation plan

An interactive map offers locations and descriptions of projects planned and already underway. The site addresses FAQs for each of the planned activities, and provides access to related reports and links to external resources associated with the flood mitigation plan.

As of August 2020, a second round of flood mitigation assistance grants became available to property owners in specified areas and were expanded to business owners who rent or lease space. Howard County will match 50% of costs up to $2,500 for business owners and up to $5,000 for property owners. The program also now covers bridges and structural driveways that cross stream channels, as well as primary building structures. 


Publication Date: 2019

Author or Affiliated User:

  • Calvin Ball

Related Organizations:

  • Howard County, Maryland


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Plans (other)

States Affected:


Go To Resource