High-Tide Flooding On The Rise, Especially Along The East Coast, Forecasters Warn
Added 07-10-19 02:07:02pm EST - “As sea levels rise, coastal flooding that used to happen only during storms is increasingly occurring on sunny days. That has local officials reconsidering everything from zoning to police budgets.” - Npr.org
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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. Wilfredo Lee/AP hide caption
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.
Sea levels are rising, and that is sending more ocean water into streets, sewers and homes. For people who live and work in coastal communities, that means more otherwise-sunny days disrupted by flooding.
"Really the future is now in terms of sea level rise impacts," says William Sweet, an oceanographer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Average sea levels have already started rising as a result of global climate change. "The ocean is at the brim. It's clogging storm water systems and it's spilling into streets."
For the last five years, Sweet and a team of forecasters at NOAA have been tracking the number of so-called high-tide flood days in coastal cities, in order to help local officials understand trends and plan ahead. Their latest report, released today, finds that the number of high-tide flood days is rising significantly in more than 40 coastal communities.
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