Violent Rain and Stormwater Runoff

by Daniel Brouse
January 4, 2024

The train derailment in Plymouth Meeting (July 17, 2023), the eleven vehicles swept away, and the seven people drowned by flood waters in Washington Crossing (July 15, 2023) were caused by a deluge of rain and flash flooding. "In my 44 years, I've never seen anything like it," Upper Makefield Fire Chief Tim Brewer said. "When the water came up, it came up very swiftly. We do not think that anybody drove into it, that they were actively on that road when it happened." CBS news reported, "Over 6 inches of rain in an hour caused the flash flooding according to Brewer. The fire department was dispatched in that area for a lightning strike and just by happenstance they found 11 cars. Eight people were rescued from the cars and two from the creek." In July and December of 2023, extreme rainfall resulted in sinkholes being exposed in the carbonate rock under Route 202 in nearby King of Prussia, PA.

With global warming, expect to see increasing intensity and/or frequency in a wide variety of violent rain events including: downpours, flooding, hurricanes, cyclones, monsoons, coastal flooding, storm surges, lightning and wildfires, hail, extreme wind, and concurrent extremes. The reign of violent rain has already begun. More hillsides and shorelines are collapsing. Atmospheric rivers are dramatically increasing flash flooding in the Northeastern USA. Worldwide, stormwater systems are becoming overwhelmed. Ironically, the streets of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, UAE, flooded days before the COP28 Climate Conference. Nowhere is safe from violent rain, not even in the desert preparing for a UN meeting on the climate crisis. As a result of increasing violent rain, new drainage culverts are forming. Eventually, the culverts will transform into recurring streams, carving new canyons, creating new landscapes and islands. In addition, extreme weather events are increasing the frequency of lightning storms and wildfires. After wildfires, rain deluges cause massive landslides transforming the topography.

There are things you can do to help, and it could save you money! Rain barrels, rain gardens, trees, and permeable pavement all help mitigate the impact of stormwater and extreme precipitation events. All of these things help reduce the intensity and frequency of flash flooding, as well as, reduce erosion.

In West Chester, PA, you can get a tax credit for:

What Can I Do?
There are plenty of things you can do to help save the planet. Stop using fossil fuels. Consume less. Love more. Here is a list of additional actions you can take.

How is All Real Estate at Risk From Climate Change?

Flood Insurance

The Reign of Violent Rain

Climate Change: Rate of Acceleration

The Age of Loss and Damage

The Human Induced Climate Change Experiment