High Water: An Informal History of Flooding in Philadelphia

a lecture by Adam Levine

When a city is built along a river—and Philadelphia is wedged between two, the Schuylkill and the Delaware—floods are an inevitable occurrence, with sometimes tragic consequences. In this illustrated talk, environmental historian Adam Levine will talk about some of the worst floods ever to hit Philadelphia, beginning in the early 1800s and ending up with Hurricane Ida in 2021. He will also discuss the causes of different types of flooding that occur in urban areas, and what we can do to help mitigate future floods.

Levine has been delving into the history of Philadelphia’s rivers, streams, and water supply and drainage systems since 1998, as a consultant to the Philadelphia Water Department and as webmaster of waterhistoryPHL.org. His talks are always illuminating, and this one will include rarely-seen pictures, maps, and stories that he has uncovered in his years 25 years of research.

Adam Levine’s presentation kicks off SUBMERGED: A Changing Global Climate a special exhibition theme centered on flooding and Global Climate Change. The exhibition is directed by Karen Young for the Fairmount Water Works and curated by Thom Duffy. The exhibition’s purpose is to bring focus to historic and current extreme weather events impacting our region and the Planet’s struggle for survival. The show opens on EARTH DAY! Saturday, April 22, 2023 and closes July 29, 2023

The exhibition is brought to you in part by Fund for the Water Works and the Ed F. Grusheski Water Literacy Foundation.

VENUE: Venice Island
ADDRESS: 7 Lock Street, Phila., PA 19127

There are two entrances to Venice Island, which is parallel to Main Street in Manayunk. One entrance is at Lock St. and Main Street and another entrance is at Cotton St. and Main Street. Kiosk parking is available on the island.

DATE: Tuesday April 18, 2023

The event is free but registration is required:

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/high-water-an-informalhistory-of-flooding-in-philadelphia-tickets-596025888477