High Ground Access Points

Public safety is the top priority of the Ball Administration, not only in Ellicott City but across Howard County. That is why the Ball Administration is moving forward with flood mitigation projects that will take significant amounts of water off of Main Street during severe weather events. However, it is still important to have tools available that can help people to safety when severe weather strikes. The outdoor tone alert system, along with the existing wireless emergency alert system, stream monitoring devices, and other communications channels are part of a comprehensive system working together to protect public safety.

The National Weather Service advises that when flooding occurs, the best thing to do is exit the floodplain if it is safe to do so. The High Ground Access Points, detailed on the map below are meant to show ways to exit the floodplain at different points on Main Street. It is important to note that due to the unpredictable nature of floods, some routes may be impassable.

Last year, "High Ground" signs were placed along Main Street identifying routes out of the floodplain. In each parking lot in Old Ellicott City, informational signs were installed explaining the access points. The Ball Administration also be provided signs, table tents, and window clings that businesses can display to provide this important information to their customers.

NEW Private Access Point Gates

In addition to the High Ground Access Points, working with two business owners in Ellicott City the Ball Administration was able to identify two access points on private property that allow people to quickly get off Main Street in the event of a severe weather emergency. Each point has a staircase that leads to a space above Main Street where people can wait out severe weather more safely. These two points are secured by gates that remain locked during non-emergency times but will automatically open in the case of high water on the street. The gates can also be opened by the county's public safety team and are equipped with a battery back up in the event of a power failure. 

Where are the Access Points and Gates?

What do the Signs Look Like?

Frequently Asked Questions


Tel: 410-313-4200


© 2019 by Howard County Government.