ida, just go away…

Route 1 Chaddsford area (I think)

I don’t even know where to begin. It’s just about 9:30 PM and this storm has been a complete horror show for hours. Countless friends are flooded, some folks dangerously so.

Oxford. Photo from Twitter.

My friend Michael is trying to see the humor and said a few minutes ago “By my count, this is the 6th “100 year storm” in the last 3 years. The averages say we are due for a 500 year break!”

Sugartown Rd between Abbey and Rock Creek Cir (Easttown)

Ida a super bitch of a storm. I can’t keep up with all of the flash flood warnings, high water and all sorts of water rescue evacuations on PulsePoint.

This is all of us. Soaked.

Tomorrow it’s time to make a donation to your local volunteer fire departments. These folks will be working all night long with police and more to keep us all safe. As the thunder booms all around, this is definitely going to be a long night. Places like Oxford, PA and Mullica Hill, NJ have experienced tornadoes today.

May be an image of body of water
Bell Tavern and Downing Rd in Downingtown.

So after this storm, and we keep getting these extreme storms, we need to have conversations with government officials throughout Chester County and elsewhere. Climate change is real. More and more devastating and extreme weather proves it. Also, the development needs to slow down. Water has nowhere to go much in any storm anymore. And a lot of municipalities pay lip service to stormwater management, kind of like they pay lip service regarding parking with all these developments. I am thinking about construction sites that blew chunks of dirt and stone just recently….like the Easttown development on the old Fritz lumber. I wonder how much from that site will be all over Route 30 when daylight comes?

May be an image of outdoors

There are developments going up all over, and more planned. We need to come together as a county and demand better from officials. Hopefully after this storm they will see they need to do better in the areas of development and stormwater management. I have friends right here in Chester County who will probably lose their home to a flood again. And it’s their home. So where do they go this time?

Put your address into the FloodFactor database and see where you end up.

Stay safe tonight everyone. The slideshow are photos I have found all over social media from Ida the bitch storm.

nothing like a tropical storm to make you want to revisit the pace of development and all it entails.

Photo source: Facebook. Location: Exton PA West Whiteland Township.

The photo I am opening this post with speaks volumes. The first thought is aren’t we all lucky to have such great first responders in this area? But it’s the second thought that bothers me and makes me ponder. The location is on the photo. Route 30 and Route 100 in Exton, West Whiteland Township.

If there was LESS development would perhaps there be LESS flooding when a big storm rolls in?

It’s kind of what came first the chicken or the egg kind of a conversation, but Chester County, we need to have it. Yesterday is a clear indication we need to have it.

A disclaimer: I am using flooding photos sourced off of Facebook. Some from the Classic Diner folks, a friend, and just photos that have been publicly posted. People captured in the moment storm flooding images yesterday and I want you all to look at the photos and think.

Think about our communities.

Think about our safety, the safety of our first responders during storms like this.

Think about the pace of development out here.

Think about the need for better stormwater management and less density.

Source: Facebook Route 30 in Malvern /Frazer East Whiteland Township

A friend of mine took the photo above yesterday. This water is insane. I haven’t lived here long enough to know if it ever flooded like this before. They also took the next photo. It sure looks like those boats were ready to launch, right?

Source: Facebook Route 30 in Malvern /Frazer East Whiteland Township

However, it still renews my suggestion that East Whiteland Township is but one of many municipalities which needs to look at their stormwater management codes/rules and reevaluate immediately due to the constant development around here. I also think that East Whiteland and her neighbors to the east and west (West Whiteland, Easttown, Tredyffrin for starters) need to revisit the pace of development, period.

And there needs to be a conversation with the Chester County Planning Commission and their Landscapes quagmire which has this part of Chester County becoming the next King of Prussia. Come on now, I am not exaggerating see this screenshot from Landscapes:

Screenshot from Landscapes 3

I have been perfectly honest in the past of not being a fan of the Executive Director of the Chester County Planning Commission. Brian O’Leary has always been too pro-development and I remember a lot of his decisions on the Lower Merion Township Planning Commission back in the day not exactly fondly. (Here is his email to Chester County Planning Commission if you are interested: boleary@chesco.org or you can email them at ccplanning@chesco.org, or call them at 610-344-6285.)

This man has always been development first oriented and he lives in Lower Merion Township in a densely populated area. Don’t misunderstand me, he lives in a lovely area, but it is extremely unlike out here. And as per bios of him I have read, he grew up in an area even more densely populated than where he currently lives. So how can Brian O’Leary really get Chester County? Sure he works out here, but he doesn’t live out here so how can he get our day to day 24/7/365 experience? So when I see the density the Chester County Planning Commission says in hunky dory for certain parts of Chester County, it literally makes me queasy. Brian O’Leary is captain mixed use, high density. There already is one King of Prussia. There already is one Bensalem.

So Brian, what do you have to say today for the flooding in some places? Can you kindly put your planning brain to use over stormwater management and perhaps a density slow down? Yesterday’s flooding shows we desperately need another plan. A better plan. The more development which occurs, the fewer places for water to go. Common sense.

Source: Facebook Lincoln Court Shopping Center yesterday in East Whiteland Township, Chester County.

So many people are without power. So many people lost so much due to flood waters. People also lost homes due to falling trees. Yesterday was a very bad storm. But as temperature and weather patterns change due to climate change, we have to adapt. And we have to change. We can’t keep doing what we have been doing. Or more specifically, we can’t keep allowing the same patterns of development to continue.

Photo courtesy of the Classic Diner, Malvern. Location: Route 30 East Whiteland Township

Change won’t be easy. Change won’t happen overnight. There are a lot of politics involved to say the least. But I am tired of politicians also driving how we should want to live in our communities. We need more open space, less development. We need less high density development and some real/better stormwater management plans. Municipalities can’t just play lip service to this any longer. They also need to put existing residents first and quit drooling over the quick fix one-time hit of ratables when a new development occurs.

Critics of my thought process will undoubtedly say I can’t tie this storm and over-development together. But I can and I have. Because if there was MORE open space, LESS development, BETTER stormwater management plans, and LESS high density development would some areas have potentially had LESS flooding yesterday? Now I know that doesn’t mean everywhere that flooded yesterday, but in some places I believe people might have fared better.

But until we try as communities to do things better, we will never know if we can do better, will we? So how about it residents of Chester County? Can you ask your elected officials for change?

Thanks for stopping by.

Source: Facebook. Morehall Road at Atwater East Whiteland Township