Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Ida ravages the Philly area: ‘There is a social and cultural cost’

A look at how the hurricane caused mass flooding and disrupted work Thursday. Plus, resources for those still in need of help.

The Schuylkill River Boardwalk on the morning of Thursday, Sept. 2.

(Screenshot via a video by twitter.com/inthelowpost)

Rampant rainfall and flooding related to Hurricane Ida affected residents across the Philly area Wednesday night and into the next day. The wreckage meant submerged cars and roadways, as well as power outages and rocky internet connections.

It’s meant interrupted work days for some tech workers, too. But beyond the irritation of disrupted client calls and team standups, more so, it has them thinking about the root causes of the storm.

Business and design anthropologist Matt Artz told Technical.ly he experienced poor internet connectivity today at his home in Dresher in Montgomery County. He attributed the atypical thunderstorms and flooding to climate change.

“This experience reaffirms the kind of wicked problems we are facing as a result of climate change,” he said. “The total cost of climate change goes well beyond the environmental destruction and the fiscal costs to clean up after disasters. There is a social and cultural cost that impacts human relations, professionally and personally.”


This Week In Jobs writer and Philly resident Grace Shallow found herself powerless Thursday afternoon when she lost power for two hours and was forced to work at a nearby café until she received a text from PECO saying that her service was renewed.

Arts and culture critic Kathia Woods was grateful to still have electricity and internet connectivity in her Valley Forge home near Valley Forge National Park, which experienced flooding during the previous night’s storm. Like Artz, she believes that climate change has also led to Philly’s torrential downpours.

“I’ve lived here for 22 years it wasn’t until the last five years [that] we started to have tornado watches and severe storms,” she said.

Check out these resources for those in need:

Michael Butler is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. -30-
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