For the second time in two years, the historic town of old Ellicott City was hit by a devastating flash flood that impacted businesses and residences. During the torrential downpour, a national guardsman, who was dining in the mill town, was reportedly swept away by the water.
Eddison "Eddie" Hermond was reported missing on Sunday.
Hermond’s friend of nearly two decades, Joseph Lopez, was dining with the sergeant at a popular Main Street restaurant called La Palapa.
According to Lopez, Hermond noticed the flood water overtaking the parking lot and spotted a woman with a cat carrier trying to leave. As Hermond tried to help the woman, he lost his footing and was swept away in the water.
“He slipped and the current kind of took him into kind of a man-made river. Took him into the river and that’s the last anyone ever saw of him,” Lopez told Fox 5 DC.
Lopez says 39-year-old Hermond, of Severn, is a sergeant with National Guard and an Air Force veteran.
“Eddison is a great swimmer so I'm hopeful that he will be OK," Lopez said told ABC News.
Lopez was not at all surprised that Hermond was willing to place his own life in danger to help a stranger.
“He’d do that for anyone. He’s done so much for me in my life and that’s just him. He served in two branches. He was an Air Force guy, he was an Army guy. Just really an amazing guy,” Lopez told Fox 5 DC.
Howard County officials say they are using all available technology to search for Hermond, including drones and cadaver dogs.
“We're continuing to search for the missing gentleman. Nothing is off the table. We're not making any assumptions,” said John Butler, Howard County fire chief.
Hermond has a 13-year-old son, and his family is hoping he will still be found alive.
(Photo: Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)