A flash flood emergency was declared in Ellicott City on Sunday. Videos posted by locals show the city’s Main Street awash with muddy water.
"This is an EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC situation and you must move to HIGHER GROUND IMMEDIATELY AND STAY AWAY FROM ANYWHERE WHERE WATER IS MOVING," National Weather Service Baltimore said in a Twitter statement.
The flood warning was also issued for Baltimore. A video filmed outside the city shows cars abandoned on the streets being devoured by water.
Ellicott City, which is situated just 55 meters (180ft) above sea level, is experiencing flooding on the same scale as it saw in 2016, the Howard County government said. The 2016 Maryland flood caused severe damage to the historic center of the city, affecting many homes, businesses and famous sights.
As of Sunday evening, the flash flood emergency has been extended to include areas along the Patapsco River in Anne Arundel County, as well as the entirety of Howard and Baltimore Counties.
As the water swept through the city, numerous videos posted online showed the flood rising to engulf the ground floors of buildings and stream into open windows.
The fast-moving water trapped dozens of cars on the street, with lone standing vehicles being swept away.