By now, we all know about the threats of extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina. But in the near future, it will be the smaller – but more persistent – flood hazards that may cost organizations the most.
Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, have released a new study on the cumulative hazards of “nuisance flooding” – the smaller events caused by rising sea levels. Such flood happen multiple times in a year and aren’t catastrophic. They can even be caused by higher tides during a clear full moon. But over time, this type of flooding can degrade infrastructure, damaging roads and building foundations in coastal communities.
One example: in Washington, DC, nuisance flooding has ground from 19 hours between 1930 and 1970 to 94 over the past two decades – and projected to reach as much as 700 hours by 2050. As a result, monuments, marinas, parks and more could see damage to infrastructure.
The research team created a cumulative hazards index that pinpoints future hotspot locations that would see the greatest long-term risk, in an effort to provide policymakers with a tool to help invest in fortifications to their communities.
Click here to read the study.