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Articles by Contributing Writer Maddy Lauria

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This story is part of Fix’s Outdoors Issue, which explores how we build connections to nature, why those connections matter, and how equitable access to outside spaces is a vital climate solution.

Marie Reed has always had trouble sleeping when it rains.

Growing up in Southbridge — a neighborhood in Wilmington, Delaware, about 5 miles from President Biden’s home and about 5 feet above sea level — Reed experienced bunking in the living room with her parents and eight brothers during storms, in case they had to flee to higher ground. Some downpours would call for a bucket brigade to bail out the basement. On rare occasions, stormwater mixed with raw sewage bubbled out of sewers and into streets and cellars.

For most of the six decades that she’s lived in the community, flooded homes, yards, and streets have been the norm. So when the remnants of Hurricane Ida caused dangerous flooding elsewhere in the city last fall, Reed was ready. “I was sitting here waiting,” she says. “I had my bag packed and everything.”

But something seemingly odd happened: Her street in Southbridge didn’t flood. The Christina River, which win... Read more

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