Howard County has completed the installation of private access point gates in Historic Ellicott City, allowing pedestrians to retreat quickly to higher ground in the case of imminent flash flooding. The gates, located at 8060 and 8044 Main Street, provide additional egress points out of the floodplain.

The gates are only intended to be used when a flash flood is either imminent or occurring and when pedestrians in the area have no other alternatives to get to high ground quickly.

In the event of rising water, the gates are equipped with a high-water sensor that will automatically open them when approximately 1.5-feet of water above the sidewalk is sensed. In the event of a power failure and loss of battery back-up, the gates will unlock. Howard County’s public safety team also can unlock the gates as needed.