Global climate change

Significant increase in high-tide flooding over the past 20 years

By Brett Anderson, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
2/26/2019, 8:50:05 AM

High-tide flooding days have increased about 60 percent in the United States over the past 20 years as ocean levels continue to rise, according to NOAA.

High-tide flooding occurs when ocean waters rise above the levels that coastal infrastructure was designed for, according to the Stanford News.

The number of high-tide flooding days at 27 locations in the U.S. has increased from an average of 2.1 days per year in the late 1950s to 11.8 days between 2006-2010. By 2035, NOAA estimates that 170 coastal communities in the U.S. may experience as much as 26 high-tide flood days per year.

The city of Annapolis, Maryland, leads the list of cities that are experiencing a dramatic increase in high tide flooding, according to a recently released, peer-reviewed Stanford University study.

Annapolis went from having an average of 4 high-tide flooding days per year in the early 1960s to 63 high-tide flooding days in 2017.

This change is clearly having a major impact on the local economy. Visitors that typically spend lots of money at downtown businesses near the water are being turned away by water-covered streets and sidewalks on a more regular basis. Costs of combating the flooding and post-flood cleanup are also increasing for the local government and businesses.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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Global climate change