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#ECStrong volunteer crews coordinated at Volunteer Reception Center; advance registration required

August 4, 2016

Media Contact:
Deidre McCabe, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022
Anna Hunter, Public Information Officer, Department of Recreation and Parks, 410-313-4686 
Shawnte Berry, Volunteer Manager, Department of Recreation and Parks, 410-313-4624

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman announced today that volunteers to assist with damage clean up from the Ellicott City flood will be allowed into limited areas with staff supervision on west Main Street and one parking lot at the bottom of Ellicott Mills Drive.

More than 2,500 individuals have contacted Howard County’s call center offering their help since flash floods devastated Ellicott City’s Historic District on July 30.

“We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of offers for assistance – both through donations and people willing to volunteer. We hope to use the talent and energy of as many volunteers as possible as we recover from this devastating storm,” said Kittleman. “However, I cannot stress strongly enough that safety is our top priority. We want to avoid anyone getting injured, and therefore cannot allow volunteers to work in areas that are not deemed safe.”

The County’s Department of Public Works staff has determined that sections of Main Street west of Ellicott Mills Drive, along with portions of Lot F, are stable and safe for volunteer crews of 10 to begin the process of removing debris and performing other specific tasks. All volunteers must be pre-registered to gain access to a work site.

Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks will have staff available at the #ECStrong Volunteer Reception Center, located in the parking lot of the Walmart Supercenter at 3200 North Ridge Road in Ellicott City, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. Volunteers must bring a photo I.D. and can register in person at the Volunteer Center.

Recreation and Parks’ staff will be working through lists of people who have already registered, but may not have jobs available immediately. Volunteers may be asked to come back at another time or day. Many who have already registered will be contacted by staff about potential job assignments as they come up.  If you are not contacted and still wish to volunteer, please visit the Volunteer Reception Center in the Walmart parking lot.

Once the volunteer operation is in full swing and larger areas deemed safe as work sites, Recreation and Parks staff expect to have volunteer teams working in damaged areas from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Tasks will be expanded as they become needed.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and able to pick up at least 40 pounds. When arriving to work, report to the Volunteer Center in the Walmart parking lot with a photo I.D. and work gloves (if available) andwear closed-toed shoes, long pants and sunscreen. Check weather reports to prepare accordingly.  All volunteer groups should check in at the Volunteer Reception Center.  Please do not go directly to the restricted area.

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