Reflecting on the Anniversary of Hurricane Ida

Flooding in Mont Clare, PA after Hurricane Ida.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, my home town of Chadds Ford – situated along the Brandywine River in Delaware County – was left underwater. During what reporters called a 1,000 year flood, the Brandywine’s waters rose more than 20 feet, destroying homes and businesses that lay in the valley. Rebuilding was difficult, and now, I am concerned about the next “once in a lifetime” storm.

As temperatures and sea levels continue to rise due to climate change, extreme weather events – particularly heat waves and large storms – are predicted to become more frequent and intense.  Scientists have made it clear that to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, we need to cut planet-warming emissions in half by 2030. The strongest change that Pennsylvania can make right now is to join 10 other states in their commitment to 100% Renewable Energy.

Pennsylvania in particular is in the crosshairs of climate change, my community’s story is just one of many. People across the commonwealth are experiencing flooding, landslides, and heatwaves like never before: flash flooding this August in Westmoreland County, a massive landslide covering Route 40 in Fayette County last summer, and even record setting numbers of tornadoes across the state last year.

We need to push for strong environmental legislation that protects our homes, our towns, our state, and our entire nation from the disastrous impacts of the climate crisis. Ask Pennsylvania’s leaders to commit to 100% Renewable Energy before it is too late.


Ellie Kerns

Climate Field Organizer, PennEnvironment

Ellie works on PennEnvironment's climate change campaign and helps move forward climate initiatives. She lives in Philadelphia, where she enjoys photography and gardening.

David Masur

Executive Director, PennEnvironment

Started on staff: 1994 B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison As executive director, David spearheads the issue advocacy, civic engagement campaigns, and long-term organizational building for PennEnvironment. He also oversees PennPIRG and other organizations within The Public Interest Network that are engaged in social change across Pennsylvania. David’s areas of expertise include fracking, global warming, environmental enforcement and litigation, and clean energy and land use policy in Pennsylvania. David has served on the environmental transition teams for Gov. Tom Wolf and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. Under David’s leadership, PennEnvironment has won the two largest citizen suit penalties in Pennsylvania history against illegal polluters under the federal Clean Water Act and the largest citizen suit penalty under the federal Clean Air Act in state history.