Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf attributed the severe weather that spurred tornadoes and flooding in his state to climate change.
"What I've seen in my last seven years are these localized storms, storms that actually in some cases occur outside of flood plains and that cause a lot of damage. You know, it's climate change," Wolf told CNN's Pete Muntean while surveying damage in Fort Washington, which experienced an EF-2 tornado with winds up to 130 mph.
There have been at least 45 deaths in six states — Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia — after the remnants of Ida tore through the Northeast. Four occurred in Pennsylvania.
Storms are getting stronger as the planet gets hotter, scientists say. Hurricanes are made more intense by the warming ocean and are moving more slowly over land.
"We've seen this increasingly around the commonwealth. ... There is no area of Pennsylvania that has been unaffected, at least during my term in office — seven years now — to this kind of devastation, and it's just very sad," Wolf said.
"Unfortunately, we're the weather's unwilling victims," he added.
Wolf said there needs to be a "robust conversation" on how to combat climate change.
"The more you see this kind of thing — the indiscriminate and intense nature of the storms — I'm not sure how you can sit on the sidelines and say we don't need to do anything. ... We've got to come to grips with the idea that we can't ignore this," he said.