The body of Sergeant Eddison Hermond has been found by Howard County Police in Maryland. The 39-year-old National Guardsman was last seen about 7:20 p.m. Sunday trying to rescue shop owner Kate Bowman as she tried to escape with her cat. His body was found in the Patapsco River on Tuesday. The Baltimore Sun reports that Hermond had been in the National Guard since 2009 and was based in Camp Fretterd in Reistertown. The sergeant enlisted in the Air Force prior to that and served over a decade. While not on active duty, Hermond worked at a Columbia restaurant for 11 years where he worked his way up from server to bartender to manager. Randy Marriner owns the restaurant where Eddison worked and said he was like family.
The power of Maryland’s recent flash floods has destroyed historic shops and other buildings in Ellicott City which sits about 13 miles west of Baltimore. The town was established in 1772 as a mill town according to Yahoo! News and is situated between some hills. The brown waters have lifted cars and caused extensive damage to buildings constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries. It came just as the city had almost recovered from a 2016 flood. Sergeant Hermond was the only person reported missing in the most recent flood.
Nicholas Johnson, owner of a shop near the one owned by Kate Bowman, commented on news of Hermond’s body being found.
“To have died helping somebody else is incredible. And I can’t even imagine the loss his family is suffering.”
Those who knew him describe him as “an affable, generous man.”
“Elliott City Strong” is the nickname of this recently ravaged city, and residents are repeating it often these days as they try to pull together as a community and rebuild once again. La Palapa Grill & Cantina took on about a foot of water. Owner Simon Cortes expressed his commitment to restoring his business and the city once again. “I feel like it’s our duty to make sure that we rebuild and open back up.” Eddison Hermond visited Cortes’s Cantina soon before his death.
A sewage overflow was noticed on Monday, and Tuesday morning officials ordered a “precautionary health alert.” The overflow has since been stopped, but only after up to 500,000 gallons of sewage had already spilled.
Businesses are also concerned about their prospects for getting flood insurance. With its location between hills, nearby water, and a flood as recent as 2016, getting flood insurance was a difficult and pricey task. They fear how much worse it may be now and hope that it doesn’t keep them from being able to reopen their stores.