Reflecting on the Anniversary of Hurricane Ida

Flooding in Mont Clare, PA after Hurricane Ida.
Ellie Kerns

Climate Field Associate

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.

Author

Ellie Kerns

Climate Field Associate

Ellie is the Climate Field Associate with PennEnvironment working on clean energy and climate change campaigns.