Body found of Air Force veteran who disappeared amid Maryland flooding

Posted at 2:19 PM, May 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-29 14:19:20-04

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) — Searchers scouring a riverbed near a Maryland town ravaged by destructive flash flooding have found the body of a missing man last seen being carried away by raging waters racing down a historic main street.

Crews had been hunting for 39-year-old Eddison Hermond, who was reported missing Sunday following torrential rains that prompted destructive flash flooding in historic Ellicott City. On Tuesday afternoon, searchers found him as they scoured the Patapsco River.

Hermond was a 39-year-old veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a sergeant in the Maryland Army National Guard. Police said he was last seen early Sunday evening trying to help a woman who had escaped through a window with her cat while seething brown waters surged through the downtown.

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 (30 centimeters) 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 (20 kilometers) west of Baltimore.

Now the locals face yet another massive cleanup, serious economic losses and a daunting comeback.