“A storm like this would have been exceptionally rare 20 or 50 years ago, but we have to start thinking about it becoming the norm as the climate warms.”Tripti Bhattacharya, Syracuse University
Hurricane Ida put a new emphasis on climate change, and why it was another harbinger to those who never expected their homes to get flooded. The graph above, from the Climate Reality Project, shows a weather catastrophe pattern that’s been increasing for 40 years. You may recall when climate deniers were mocking Al Gore when he spoke of New York City flooding, but they aren’t any more!
We have a small stream directly behind our residential lot, and there have been a few times over the past several decades when water rose enough to enter the very rear of our yard, usually in June, so flooding is more of a risk for us than many homeowners. What I found particularly interesting when using that Flood Factor link for our address, is the increasing risk of 1-inch of flood water reaching our house:
Fortunately, based on our home’s first floor elevation and the presence of a basement, our home is “elevated above flood damage projections.” While that may appear to provide some comfort, serious damage could still occur to our furnace, water heater, washer and dryer, and the finished portions of our basement.
Images below show flood damage to the VFW 764 monument along Valleybrook Road in McMurray (Peters Township) Pennsylvania during several days of heavy rain in 2005, even rearranging one of the heavy granite stones:
That Flood Factor website also notes that 61.1% of properties (10,671) in our Washington County, Pennsylvania, are in the highest category, being at an ‘Extreme’ risk of flooding. Those numbers aren’t surprising considering our hills and valleys, and the number of homes and businesses situated close to waterways.