After Series of Flood Disasters, Eastwick Community Seeks Solutions 


In the 43 years that Brenda Whitfield has lived in the Eastwick section of Southwest Philadelphia, she’s endured about 20 storms, writes Jon Hurdle for Mother Jones.  

It’s an alarming occurrence for both her and her neighbors. 

“Every time it rains, and every time they say it’s severe weather, we get anxiety, we can’t sleep,” said Whitfield. 

As the block captain, she has led the community in finding ways to make the neighborhood more resilient to flooding.  

Eastwick is a low-lying community, which leaves it vulnerable to flooding. 

As a result, the Federal Emergency Management Agency selected Eastwick as a community to test equitable, community-driven ways to protect from intensifying climate threats. 

Three major solutions were considered: better control of stormwater upstream, an earthen levee that would protect its most vulnerable areas, and a “land swap” where residents from 265 homes would be moved to higher ground.  

Many existing residents hope one of the first two can serve as a solution, as uprooting isn’t always a viable option. 

“A lot of people are set in their street and would only want to see the flood situation developed to the point where they could feel safe where they are,” said Earl Wilson.  

Learn more about Eastwick’s history with flooding and its hope for solutions in Mother Jones.  


After years of flood damage, Eastwick residents and neighbors are coming together to create a solution.

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