Aug. 1, 2016, 2:31 p.m.
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More rain was expected to hit a central Maryland town on Monday after flooding that inundated its historic downtown and killed at least two people over the weekend, as crews began the task of cleaning up the wreckage, government officials said.Torrential rain over the weekend caused a tributary of the Patapsco River to overflow and send floodwaters through Ellicott City, an unincorporated community in Howard County, about 35 miles (56 km) northeast of Washington, D.C. "The devastation to the town has been extensive," Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said in a statement. The flooding was worse than that from Hurricane Agnes in 1972, when a bridge and historic structures were wiped out, Kittleman said.Search and rescue workers, who saved about 120 people stranded by the surging waters, planned to conduct additional searches of properties in the area on Monday, Kittleman said.Overnight, more than 180 vehicles were towed from streets, parking lots and the riverbed to a local high school, county officials said. An additional 20 cars were stuck in area of the river."With the cars removed, Monday's focus is on debris removal," county officials said in a statement. Meanwhile, scattered thunderstorms were expected throughout the day, according to the National Weather Service. Elliott City received almost 6 inches (15 cm) of rain in two hours late on Saturday, causing the tributary, Tiber Creek, to break its banks. Vehicles were swept down city streets and dozens of buildings were badly damaged in addition to those destroyed, county officials said. Every business near the river on the town's historic Main Street had suffered major damage, including building fronts torn off and doors stripped away, county officials said.The bodies of two people, a man and a woman, were found in the aftermath, one in the river, officials said. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency, as did Kittleman. The declarations allow aid to be released more quickly for Ellicott City, which has a population of about 65,000.Officials were assessing the number of people displaced by the flooding and the cost of damage to the community, county spokeswoman Deidre McCabe said. (Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Frances Kerry)