Heavy rain pounded parts of Pennsylvania over the summer of 2018.
Some flash floods turned deadly. Many took a toll on property, roads and bridges.
Water rushed through Chanceford Township, York County so fast, pavement floated up and away like pieces of paper, said Township Supervisor David Warner.
One man ran out to get pizza and returned to find his house destroyed.
“Luckily nobody died,” Warner said.
Two years later, Warner said, six bridges are still closed, causing a headache for ambulance crews and farmers moving equipment.
As devastating as the floods were, the damage was concentrated and didn’t rise to the level of a federal emergency disaster. Chanceford Township and others across the state had to rely on Small Business Administration loans and their own resources to handle the cleanup.
David Hess, secretary of environmental protection under Republican governors Tom Ridge and Mark Schweiker, keeps tabs on environmental news coming out of Harrisburg in a daily blog. He said the legislature has done “bits and pieces” on climate change in the past decade, but nothing comprehensive.
He said the last major action on the issue was the 2008 Pennsylvania Climate Change Act — passed under Democratic Governor Ed Rendell — which provides for a periodic Climate Action Plan. The plan offers nonbinding recommendations, which have mainly been taken up by the executive branch…
Hess’ former boss publicly shamed his party as out-of-touch on the issue of climate change in an op-ed published in The Atlantic on Earth Day this year.
“The Republican Party has largely abandoned environmental issues — to its great detriment politically,” Ridge wrote.
In a May interview with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Ridge expanded on the critique, saying climate change will have drastic implications for the economy and national defense.