'A floodier future': Scientists say records will be broken

James Marshall
July 11, 2019

NOAA's report predicts that in 30 years, the northern Outer Banks will have 55 to 135 days of high tide flooding, depending on greenhouse gas emissions.

But curiously, despite all the days water made roads impassible and King Tide flooded parks and coastal roads in South Florida, by NOAA's count the region saw no high tide flood days in 2018. "One threshold doesn't fit all".

NOAA has identified more than 40 locations where high-tide flooding trends reveal "significant acceleration" along the West and East coasts. It could start with the year's first king tide, the highest tides of the year, from July 29 to August 4.

"We can not wait to act", said Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA's Ocean Service. The water table has risen to ground level and degraded septic systems in the Miami region, and farmlands in the Delmarva Peninsula in DE and Maryland have been damaged by salt water encroaching into planted areas. Experts say weather conditions and the warming planet will bring more of them next year.

A new federal report out Wednesday characterizes coastal tidal flooding as a rapidly growing problem, with impacts that soon will be chronic - unless communities adapt. "Our high tide projections can play a vital role in helping them plan mitigation and other remedies".

"Relative sea levels continue to rise", he said.

The report projects that, by 2050, the United States will experience 25 to 75 days of high-tide flooding.

The northeast Atlantic region overall is expected to experience a median of 8 days of flooding this year - an increase of 140 percent since 2000, according to the report. And that's the median for the whole nation.

A new government report says the Texas coast is increasingly at risk of flooding, even when there's not a rain cloud in sight.

NOAA has 98 tidal gauges, some of which have been functioning since the early 1900s.

Areas of DE saw several days of high-tide flooding, also known as "nuisance" or "sunny-day" flooding.

The predictions for Reedy Point are lower, with up to 15 days of high-tide flooding expected there in 2030 and up to 100 in 2050.

Coastal North Carolina faces a two-pronged threat from hurricanes and the sea level rise that's causing high tide flooding, according to Oceanographer William Sweet. She attended the University of Florida.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article