Researchers from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released a report, which warns citizens along the US East coast for increased tidal flooding due climate change. In the coming 15 to 30 years, the authors predict that places like Miami, Annapolis and Washington DC will experience an eight-fold increase in occurrence of devastating flood events.
Tidal floods are commonly associated with hurricanes and tornadoes. Because of their relatively known frequency and predictable nature in the past, many citizens of areas prone to such disasters have grown somehow used to it. Unfortunately, this mindset has got to change, now that climate change is having a much bigger influence than ever. If now such events occur a few times a year and last not longer than a couple of hours, soon this frequency is very likely to increase drastically.
This conclusion is based on a study conducted on 52 cities along the US east coast. The necessary data were collected from the National Weather Service flood advisories and local stations. The projections indicated that the number of tidal flood events is likely to triple in the next decade or so, while by 2045 it might well be that areas off the coast become affected too.
But increased frequency is not the only issue. People should be prepared to experience much more and longer-lasting events, with much longer hours spent under water. In addition, the severity and intensity of the events is likely to worsen, endangering households further inland too.
The authors of the report warn that most of the cities in question will have to deploy much more effective measures and stronger pumps in order to hold back the waves. Citizens have to be prepared to deal with flooding of basements, drops in property value and polluted agricultural fields and gardens.
The report is obviously displaying the worst case scenario, but unfortunately to reach to these conclusions, the authors had to only extend the current “business-as-usual” approach. They warn that people should start preparing now by flood-proofing homes, and better planning of future construction projects.
Image (c) Getty