As we watch with great sorrow the devastation of our beloved city, the loss of life, destruction of property and heroic efforts and acts by so many in our community, we wonder whether anything will change at the end of it all. Or will this experience mean nothing to us?
Certainly this was a rare meteorological event, but not unprecedented around the country. This is being called a predecessor rain event, not unlike the ones associated with Hurricane Frances that flooded much of New York, and Tropical Storm Erin, which flooded the Midwest in 2007. We cannot disconnect it from discussions of climate change or ignore the warning sent.
A warming atmosphere holds more moisture, which means more precipitation falling during these events. We are a nation and a state woefully unprepared for this new normal, one in which catastrophic amounts of precipitation can fall very quickly, inundating us and our aging infrastructure.
It is time to start heeding the warnings of climate change and upgrade our city, state and nation for the kinds of events that changing global weather patterns will bring.