Liesl’s Climate Story


Liesl Dietrich


Ormond Beach, FL 32174

How are you sensing climate change?

My grandparents have had a property in Daytona Beach since I can remember. We visited at Easter almost every year as my siblings and I were growing up. We would joyously run up and down the beach in search of plastic Easter eggs planted by our grandparents after Easter Mass. We even got to see our cousins at our grandparent’s place a few years ago. We would pick vegetables from my Grandmother’s garden. The fresh tomatoes were a real delicacy that we owed to Mother Nature.
I haven’t been back to my Grandparent’s place in several years due to the COVID- 19 situation. Their home was destroyed by Hurricane Ian this October. Their place’s storm shutters were not properly closed. Therefore, there was significant flooding and structural integrity decay. My grandparents are extremely upset and worried about this disaster. My parents flew down to them to check on their safety and discovered my Grandmother is not doing well. My Grandmother had a fall due to the flooding. Moreover, my grandparents are worried about the future of the Ormond Beach community, as many of their friends were impacted by this hurricane.
This Hurricane Ian went through “rapid intensification” according to CBS News. According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, this process entails an increase in the maximum sustained winds of a tropical cyclone of at least 35 mph in a 24-hour period. I wish I could have prevented this situation somehow to protect my grandparents and older people like them.

How do these changes make you feel?

This situation makes me really concerned and fearful for older people who do not have loved ones to help them stay safe or rebuild after a natural disaster like this. I am also concerned for the general ecosystem for this beach and others like it.

Ormond Beach, FL 32174

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