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'Nuisance Flooding' Is Happening a Lot More Often

'Nuisance flooding' tied or set records last year in more than a quarter of the 98 places monitored
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 6, 2018 2:32 PM CDT
In this March 21, 2018, photo, heavy surf crashes over the seawall at Townsends Inlet on Ocean Drive between Sea Isle City and Avalon, N.J. A new report finds that high-tide flooding is happening across...   (Dale Gerhard/The Press of Atlantic City, File)
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(Newser) – A new report finds that high-tide flooding is happening across the US at twice the rate it was just 30 years ago and predicts records for such flooding will continue to be broken for decades as sea levels rise, the AP reports. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday that high-tide flooding, sometimes called sunny-day or "nuisance flooding," tied or set records last year in more than a quarter of the 98 places the agency monitors around the country. The report found Sabine Pass, Texas, had 23 days of high-tide flooding last year. The area is part of Port Arthur, where most houses now stand on stilts after the community was hit repeatedly by destructive hurricanes. Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Boston had 22 each. Cities in other parts of the country experienced fewer tidal floods, but many of those cities still saw records set.

"Though year-to-year and regional variability exist, the underlying trend is quite clear: Due to sea level rise, the national average frequency of high tide flooding is double what it was 30 years ago," the report says. Such flooding closes roads or inconveniences daily activities. "What used to be uncommon is now becoming fairly common," adds William Sweet, a NOAA oceanographer and co-author of the report. A researcher who was not involved in the study called it "a warning, a shot across the bow." "Across the whole of the US coastline, we are in dire need of action," he said. In addition to the conclusions of the report, he said it is just as significant that "this is a federally funded sea-level assessment funded by the Trump Administration, and it shows that the problems on our coasts are getting worse and will get worse."

(Read more flooding stories.)

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