Hannah’s Climate Story


Hannah Wassermann


Columbia, South Carolina (29205)

How are you sensing climate change?

In 2015, my hometown of Columbia, South Carolina flooded. Entire neighborhoods went completely underwater, and the effects were absolutely devastating. I remember loud and heavy rains and constant news reports blaring on the TV. Darkness permeated as the sun stopped shining, and my house lost power. A combination of increased rainfall due to Hurricane Joaquin and groundwater created a perfect storm. Some people had to swim out of their second story windows in the middle of might, while others went on rescue missions in the boats they kept in their garages. I got lucky. The most significant impact it had on me was that I was out of school for a week – due to the main road there being completely underwater – but many of my peers lost their childhood homes and priceless memories. I remember the first time I went back to one of those neighborhoods after the water was gone. It was impossible to comprehend that just weeks earlier it had been submerged. It was like standing at the edge of the ocean at low tide. It’s hard to conceptualize that, hours before, where you now stand was underwater. My community came together like never before. It seemed that every company, school, family, and sports team was volunteering. Even now, when I am home, I drive by this house right on the creek that they still haven’t fixed 7 years later, probably because it’s not worth it. I’m sure we’ll flood again.

How do these changes make you feel?

This makes me feel very sad. The effects of climate change are so widespread, and there are still people that “don’t believe” in it. It’s frustrating and anxiety inducing, and it makes it very hard to picture the future.

Exterior of brick house flooding with brown water.
Cars and street completely submerged in water, with street lights just a few feet above the water's surface.

Columbia, South Carolina 29205

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