(AP Photo/David McFadden)

Missing Man's Body Found In River Near Site Of Weekend Floods In Maryland

May 29, 2018 - 2:22 pm

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WCBS 880/AP) -- Authorities in Maryland have found the body of a missing National Guardsman in a river near the historic floods form this past weekend.

Authorities said Tuesday afternoon that the body found in the the Patapsco River was that of Eddison Hermond, 39.

Police say Hermond – a U.S. Air Force veteran and a member of the Maryland National Guard – had last been seen early Sunday evening trying to help a woman rescue her cat behind a restaurant while seething brown waters surged through the downtown.

A cascade of water carried cars down Main Street in Ellicott City, Maryland, as though they were rafts in the rapids. Residents were forced to find higher ground as the floodwaters inundated homes and business, CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported Monday night.

Three hundred people had to be rescued, and storefronts had to be completely gutted. Business owners who had to build back after a 2016 flood were wondering Tuesday if they were up to the task again, Castro reported.

“I was going to shut the door, but before I could do that, a wall of water just came down,” said Ed Crowl, owner of Wagon Wheel Antiques.

Crowl got out of harm’s way. But his antique business of 50 years essentially floated away.

Still, some people in picturesque Ellicott City — established in 1772 as a Patapsco River mill town surrounded by hills — say they're determined to rebuild after Sunday's devastation. Their hope: to pull together as a community again after the second terrible flood deluged their downtown in less than two years.

Simon Cortes, owner of La Palapa Grill & Cantina, said Monday it's "a horrible time," and his business took on about a foot of water. But he says the town has been through it all before, and he'll do his part to spur another revival.

"I feel like it's our duty to make sure that we rebuild and open back up," said Cortes, whose restaurant is right by the spot where Hermond was swept away by Sunday's raging floodwaters.

Others are stretched to the breaking point by the floods, which tore up streets and swept away dozens of cars in the quaint downtown of historic 18th and 19th century buildings, which sit in a ravine about 13 miles west of Baltimore.

The locals now face yet another massive cleanup, serious economic losses and a daunting comeback.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)