New York

Will a warming climate lead to more flash flooding in the Tri-State Area?

NEW YORK — For the one-year anniversary of Ida, we’re reflecting on the flash flooding that stole lives and searching forward to the future.

Will a warming climate lead to more flash flooding in the Tri-State Area? CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock spoke to climate scientists about their projections.

Epic rainfall pummeled the earth on Sept. 1, 2021, at charges that exceeded 3 inches per hour. Storm totals rose above 10 inches in Manville, New Jersey, and over 9 inches on Staten Island.

“The rainfall rates … that came out of Ida were in the 500- to 1,000-year event,” stated Dr. Dave Robinson, a New Jersey state climatologist at Rutgers University.

He describes Ida as a transformative storm.

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That was definitely the case for Doren Smith, of Elizabeth, New Jersey.

“Turned into the Titanic, you know. There’s water coming in everywhere,” he stated. “I looked outside my apartment. I said, ‘Oh my god, we got to go.'”

Smith lived on the floor flooring of his constructing when Ida hit. The Elizabeth River burst at the seams.

“My building was totally underwater, 8 feet of water,” he stated.

He and his spouse hoisted his handicapped father-in-law up to the second flooring to security. Smith says he then headed again downstairs to rescue his neighbor.

“I told him, ‘When you open the door, you pull, I push.’  He came out floating on a body of water,” he stated.

For more than 4 months, his household lived in a lodge with nothing of their very own left.

“I never knew that could happen,” Smith stated.

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That’s the factor — flash flooding is occurring now in locations the place it hasn’t earlier than.

“We’re already seeing more flash flooding, and we’re seeing greater impact from flash floods,” stated Andrew Kruczkiewicz, a senior researcher at Columbia University.

Kruczkiewicz says Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, is amongst the locations that he says didn’t flood earlier than Ida.

“The projections say that as we move forward in the future, because of climate change, we will see more intense periods of rainfall,” he stated.

Robinson already sees a repetitive sample beginning with Floyd in 1999 and Irene in 2011.

“Along comes Ida in 2021, and they may seem, oh, five, 10 years apart in some cases, but that’s really unusual,” he stated. “I’ve never seen a cluster like this.”

According to the 2020 New Jersey Scientific Report on Climate Change, annual precipitation will improve 4-11% by 2050.

Robinson, who participated in the analysis provides, “A flood that occurs every 100 years now, by the middle of this century, might be something that would occur every 20 or 50 years.”

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“It’s important to understand your risk, for everybody to think about, ‘Am I?’ Where I live and where I work and along my commute,” Kruczkiewicz stated.

Know if the areas you frequent most flood, and know what you want to do if a flash flood emergency is issued.

Kruczkiewicz provides it is not simply excessive climate that leads to catastrophe. When it comes to flash flooding, different elements, reminiscent of infrastructure and drainage, play a large half too. Thus, as we plan for a future in a altering climate, a complete method have to be pursued.

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