Buist Avenue in Eastwick, Philadelphia, which was under four feet of water during Tropical Storm Isaias in August 2020. Credit: Gordon Branham

Brenda Whitfield recalled the first major flood at her home in the Eastwick section of Southwest Philadelphia, when Hurricane Floyd filled her ground floor with five feet of water. “I was scared half to death,” she said of the 1999 storm. “The water was coming, and the next thing I knew my husband was like, ‘Brenda, you got to leave.’” She rushed with her children to a relative’s house in a higher section of Eastwick while her husband stayed home. “We saw canoes coming to get pets and seniors here,” she said.

Since Floyd, there have been Tropical Storms Ivan and Charlie in 2004; Hurricanes Irene and Sandy in 2011 and 2012, respectively; Tropical Storm Isaias in 2020; and Hurricane Ida in 2021, each of which flooded parts of Eastwick with up to five and a half feet of muddy water. And then there were the smaller storms that left Whitfield and her neighbors with […]

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