Wayne Parry / AP Photo
This Feb. 16, 2017 photo shows Marty Mozzo in his back yard in Ocean City N.J. on the edge of a back bay wetlands. When he and his wife were considering buying the house, they looked at a small trickle of water in the distance and wondered if the property would flood, deciding the water was too far away to pose a danger. Within weeks, their house was surrounded by flood waters.
About 170 coastal communities across the nation will experience chronic flooding 20 years from now, disrupting people’s life and daily routines, and forcing residents of those communities to make difficult and expensive decisions, according to a study out this week by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
In a moderate sea level rise scenario, cities and towns along the Delaware Bay and New Jersey coastlines could see between 15 and 40 percent of their land flooded at least 26 times each year by 2030.
“It’s horrifying,” Suzanne Hornick, chairperson of the Ocean City, NJ Flooding Committee. “My house would be under water in 40 years.”
Hornick is already in a bad situation. She says her home floods about 10 times a year, and she has to fix her basement walls and garage door at least every two years. Every time it rains, Hornick says she moves her car and parks it two or three blocks from her house, so it doesn’t get inundated with water. When winter storm Jonas hit the U.S. in 2016, she couldn’t leave her home for four days. Continue Reading
A man waves for a tow truck after getting swamped trying to cross a flooded section of the Cobbs Creek Parkway, Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in Philadelphia. Cobbs Creek and Darby Creek merge in the Eastwick section of Philadelphia where flooding is expected to get worse due to rising sea levels.
Joining dozens of communities across the country Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced Wednesday he has committed the city to a goal of 100 percent clean energy. It’s part of a growing effort by cities and states to reduce their carbon footprint in the wake of President Trump pulling out of the Paris Agreement, a landmark international effort to cut global carbon emissions to reduce the worst impacts of climate change.
In the Philadelphia region, climate scientists say those impacts will include hotter summers, greater rain fall and floods.
One city neighborhood is already working on how to respond to rising sea levels. Climate change is not theoretical for residents of Eastwick, a neighborhood built over a marsh in southwest Philadelphia. The area is already subject to frequent and severe flooding, and researchers say it will only get worse.
At least ten high flow events since 1999 have seriously damaged about 130 properties and city infrastructure, according to the Philadelphia Water Department.