Homeowners are slowly growing wary of buying property in the areas most at risk, setting up a potential economic time bomb in an industry that is struggling to adapt.

 

11/24/16

 

MIAMI — Real estate agents looking to sell coastal properties usually focus on one thing: how close the home is to the water’s edge. But buyers are increasingly asking instead how far back it is from the waterline. How many feet above sea level? Is it fortified against storm surges? Does it have emergency power and sump pumps?

 

Rising sea levels are changing the way people think about waterfront real estate. Though demand remains strong and developers continue to build near the water in many coastal cities, homeowners across the nation are slowly growing wary of buying property in areas most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

 

12/25/16

 

“By 2050, this will be normal,” said Aldaron Laird, standing near the top of an Arcata wastewater treatment pond levee as waves broke at his feet.

 

A small group had trekked out to the Rising Tides Bench during a nine-foot King Tide on Dec. 13 for a discussion of sea level rise, its imminence and consequences.

 

While the bay’s present borders can more or less withstand today’s King Tides – also known as perigean spring tides, which coincide with maximum gravitational pull by the moon and sun – that won’t be the case when they ride in on top of tomorrow’s raised sea levels. At that point, seawater would overtop current levees and inundate coastal areas, including homes, farms, businesses and critical public infrastructure.

 

The higher sea levels are not an “if,” they’re a “when.” What we don’t know is exactly when.

11/18/16

 

The images are dramatic, showing some of Eureka’s most important areas completely submerged in water. The Bayshore Mall, Costco, Schmidbauer Lumber, even parts of Old Town and Highway 101 would lie beneath the surface of the ocean according to the worst-case-scenario projections for sea level rise and tectonic subsidence by the year 2100 in a new draft report prepared for the City of Eureka.

 

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Inundation maps were developed by Jeff Anderson of Northern Hydrology & Engineering for the Humboldt Bay Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment Project. The maps show areas vulnerable to existing and future sea levels that are currently protected from inundation due to the natural shoreline, dikes or berms, and railroad or road grades.

1/30/15

President Barack Obama issued an executive order on Friday directing federal, state and local agencies to incorporate projections for sea level rise in planning and construction along the coasts.

 

The new Federal Flood Risk Management Standard requires that all federally funded projects located in floodplains, including buildings and roads, be built to withstand flooding. The requirement, the White House said in a release Friday, would “reduce the risk and cost of future flood disasters” and “help ensure federal projects last as long as intended.”