Waterfront cities face a 'floodier future,' spurred by rising seas

A street in Miami flooded during a high tide in 2018. A new report confirms that the number of days with high-tide flooding is increasing in many U.S. cities as sea levels rise

A street in Miami flooded during a high tide in 2018. A new report confirms that the number of days with high-tide flooding is increasing in many U.S. cities as sea levels rise

Back then, Dusek said, it recorded 12 high tide flood days in the first 35 years it operated.

Coastal communities across the United States saw an uptick in flooding from high tides a year ago - and it's not likely to get any better, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says.

"I think this is a good example of how dramatically high tide flooding is changing due to sea level rise", he said.

NOAA predicts Lewes could see up to 30 high-tide flooding days in the year 2030, and as many as 135 such days in 2050. The events mostly affect people on the East and Gulf coasts.

The region experienced a median of 10 days of high tide flooding past year, with the Chesapeake Bay area producing breaking records in Washington, D.C., which saw 22 days of flooding, and Baltimore and Annapolis, Maryland, with 12 days.

"Really the future is now in terms of sea level rise impacts", William Sweet, a NOAA oceanographer, told NPR".

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"We can not wait to act", said Nicole LeBoeuf, NOAA's National Ocean Service acting director. "This issue gets only more urgent and complex with each passing day".

Global sea levels are rising at a rate of about 3 millimeters a year, or about an inch every eight years, according to Rutgers University researchers, who predict that by 2050, seas off New Jersey will rise by an additional 1.4 feet (0.4 meters).

The effects of high-tide flooding include disrupted traffic along East Coast roadways, degraded septic system functionality in South Florida and salted farmlands in coastal DE and Maryland, the NOAA said. This year, Baltimore had 12 high tide flood days. "We're not talking about disaster flooding. It's sometimes called 'nuisance flooding, ' but it has real impacts and costs".

The report cited the disruption of commerce in downtown Annapolis, Maryland, where parking spaces are lost to flooding. A 2017 study put the price tag on lost economic activity at as much as $172,000.

Record breaking floodwaters, one of the prime warming signs of encroaching sea level rise, caused road closures, loss of business to coastal enterprises and damage to homes and buildings across the U.S.in 2018.

The report's statistics cover May 2018 through April 2019. There were 10 days previous year on average in the Northeast, with the city of Washington having 22 days, the study released Wednesday said.

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