Hurricane Ida leads to flooding

Sean McGinley (

The increasing severity of climate change is displaying itself not only in parts of America where one might suspect to see it, such as in the flooded city of New Orleans or the burning forests of California, but in our own residential areas as well.  Ursinus experienced the effects of climate change Wednesday, September 1st in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, when historic floods hit the area. Our local community was flooded more than it has been in several decades, with heavy rains that came from Hurricane Ida.

Ursinus College, being in close proximity to the Perkiomen Creek, was one of the many places where severe rain and flash flooding reared its ugly head. Stephen Gehringer, director of facilities services here at Ursinus, said that off-campus housing, such as Todd on Main Street, are some of the most susceptible locations on campus for this sort of flooding. Certain Main Street house basements were completely flooded in at least three inches of water. Needless to say, this is an issue that has a large effect on students’ lives. Since the storm was a ‘flash flood’ it meant they were sudden and provided little to no preparation time.

Given the intense circumstances, credit is due to Ursinus College’s Facilities services. One might see the effects of intense weather – the closed-off streets, the fallen trees, the cancelled classes – and feel as though there is not enough being done. But there are the unsung heroes who think instead of clearing areas of debris, ensuring gas pumps work, or taking initiative to make sure our college is safe. Gehringer states that the college’s flooding problem was largely taken care of by 8 am the morning after the storm. There is no doubt that, in the event of a flood, tensions are high and anxiety runs rampant. Yet, it is comforting to know that when we are faced with such issues, our college has a facilities unit that is ready and committed to helping out.