Main Street Bustling After Train Derailment
Shoppers came out to support local businesses after a week marred by tragedy.
It was "hopping." It was "bustling."
And by 7 p.m. Monday, Main Street was "wide open," four days after a train derailed, killing two 19-year-old women and shutting down the main route into Ellicott City's Historic District.
"It's open and the town is hopping," Vicki Ottman Scobell posted on Ellicott City Patch's Facebook page just after 10 p.m. Friday.
"It was [bustling] all night!" toy store Mumbles and Squeaks wrote Saturday morning.
Local blogger Tom Coale spearheaded the initiative to "Appreciate Main Street" on his blog, HoCo Rising:
I was down on Main Street for at least a part of all three days and every time I would [peek] up or down the hill [I'd] see groups of pedestrians with shopping bags and strollers. All four restaurants I visited were packed.
The idea to head to Main Street after the train derailment tragedy spread quickly, gaining attention from other bloggers, politicians and even Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice, who posted about Main Street on his Facebook page.
"It's wide open! Come on down!" Sue Ellen Grove posted on Facebook Friday at about 9 p.m.
Columbia resident Arianna Berkowitz was one of the supporters who came down with her husband and kids to shop on Main Street Saturday afternoon.
She told the Howard County Times: "We're here to help support downtown. ... This is a part of our history. It's a great place, and there's nothing else like it around."
Officials closed Main Street in Ellicott City from the CSX train bridge to Old Columbia Pike from early Tuesday morning until 7 p.m. Friday.
In Baltimore County, Frederick Road was closed to Nine Mile Road.
The roads were closed as the National Transportation Safety Board; CSX and the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) worked on securing the scene and investigating a train derailment where 21 cars fell over, dumping coal into one of downtown's main parking lots and killing 19-year-olds Elizabeth Nass and Rose Mayr.
Shortly before the derailment, the two had been tweeting from on the tracks.
T. Garland and Zan Wilson, owners of the Obladi Hotel on Main Street, had to cancel reservations, losing six days of business.
"But it's so hard to say 'we lost six days,'" Wilson said, "When this was such a tragedy for those families.'"