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Two People Died After A "Disaster Movie" Flood Destroyed This Small Town

"We have never seen such devastation."

Last updated on August 1, 2016, at 4:57 a.m. ET

Posted on July 31, 2016, at 6:05 p.m. ET

Two people died after floodwaters resembling a "disaster movie" destroyed the main section of Ellicott City, Maryland, on Saturday night, officials said.

At 2:20 a.m. Sunday, first responders found the body of an adult woman in the water near the river bank. Her brother was there and told police that she and members of his family were in the main area of the city when the storm hit. They were inside the victim's vehicle, attempting to leave, when the vehicle was swept away by the water. The occupants got out of the vehicle, and all but the victim were rescued by water rescue teams and transported to Howard County General. The victim, who has been identified as 35-year-old Jessica Watsula, was swept away and eventually found about 200 yards from the Ilchester Bridge.Watsula from Lebanon County, Pennsylvania was visiting family in the area, according to the Baltimore Sun. She was the mother of a 10-year-old daughter, who she was inseparable from, her brother, Curtis Brubaker, told the Baltimore Sun. He also described her as very outgoing and a personal fitness devotee. Baltimore County Police responded at 8:48 a.m. Sunday to the intersection of Ilchester Road and the Howard County line. A citizen reported he was walking on a trail at 8:30 a.m. when he saw a body washed up on shore. The victim, an adult male, was pronounced deceased by a Baltimore County paramedic at 9:05 a.m. He is identified as Joseph Anthony Blevins, 38, of Windsor Mill, Maryland. Police learned Blevins was in Ellicott City with his girlfriend Saturday evening. Their vehicle was swept away in the flash flood with them inside. The girlfriend was able to get out and was rescued. Blevins was swept away.
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At 2:20 a.m. Sunday, first responders found the body of an adult woman in the water near the river bank. Her brother was there and told police that she and members of his family were in the main area of the city when the storm hit. They were inside the victim's vehicle, attempting to leave, when the vehicle was swept away by the water. The occupants got out of the vehicle, and all but the victim were rescued by water rescue teams and transported to Howard County General. The victim, who has been identified as 35-year-old Jessica Watsula, was swept away and eventually found about 200 yards from the Ilchester Bridge.

Watsula from Lebanon County, Pennsylvania was visiting family in the area, according to the Baltimore Sun. She was the mother of a 10-year-old daughter, who she was inseparable from, her brother, Curtis Brubaker, told the Baltimore Sun. He also described her as very outgoing and a personal fitness devotee.

Baltimore County Police responded at 8:48 a.m. Sunday to the intersection of Ilchester Road and the Howard County line. A citizen reported he was walking on a trail at 8:30 a.m. when he saw a body washed up on shore. The victim, an adult male, was pronounced deceased by a Baltimore County paramedic at 9:05 a.m. He is identified as Joseph Anthony Blevins, 38, of Windsor Mill, Maryland.

Police learned Blevins was in Ellicott City with his girlfriend Saturday evening. Their vehicle was swept away in the flash flood with them inside. The girlfriend was able to get out and was rescued. Blevins was swept away.

Nearly six inches of rain fell on the area between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET on Saturday, Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said on Sunday. It's the "equivalent of rain for a whole month," he added.

Evan Brown / Via facebook.com

With that much rain comes "tremendous force of water," Kittleman said, adding that sidewalks are gone, "buiding floors completely gone," "foundations completely gone" and that there were "cars on top of cars."

Facebook: video.php

In this video, a person is seen walking with his car during the flood when he is swept away. The poster said the person was ok.

In all, 170 vehicles were impacted by the flood and are now not driveable. They are being towed from walkways, the river and other places.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

The area "looks like a war zone," Kittleman said, adding it "looks like a disaster movie."

A woman was also rescued from her car by a human chain in an incident which was shared widely on Facebook after being posted Sunday morning.

Sara Arditti/Facebook / Via Facebook: video.php

The footage was shot by Ellicott City resident Dave Arditti and posted by his wife Sara, who run an art gallery in the city's Main Street.

The video also features a man being washed away by the torrent of water, whom Sara described as "incredibly lucky."

Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency for the city, and praised first responders.

Governor @LarryHogan addressing the storm damage & devastation but also heroic actions in #EllicottCity @LarryHogan

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