The severe structural damage to the buildings in Downtown Ellicott City was predicted. Here is the an illustration from the Howard County Flood Mitigation Plan prepared for the Department of Public Works in 2010. The report is on the Howard County website here. Note the predicted major structural damage on Main Street.
Here is a clearer PDF version Howard County Flood Mitigation Plan – Ellicott City Damage 2010
So the County knew since at least 2010 that the potential for flooding and structure damage could occur on Main Street and yet they did essentially . . . nothing.
What are we going to do about it now?