Florida Most at Risk From Chronic Flooding Caused By Climate Change

21 June, 2018, 02:17 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Credit FEMA

The report, released Monday by the Union of Concerned Scientists, projects that climate change-driven sea level rise could make almost 311,000 existing residential and commercial properties in the US uninhabitable by 2045.

In Florida alone, the "homes at risk by 2100 now contribute roughly $5 billion collectively in annual property tax revenue", said the report.

If nations adhere to it by capping warming to below 2 degrees Celsius - and if there is limited loss of land-based ice - about 89 percent of New York's at-risk homes would avoid chronic flooding by the end of the century, according to UCS.

Under this scenario, where planet-warming emissions are barely constrained and the seas rise by about 6.5ft globally by the end of the century, 311,000 homes along the United States coastline would face flooding on average 26 times a year within the next 30 years-a typical lifespan for a new mortgage.

The report also found that around 175 different coastal communities could face chronic flooding that impacted 10 percent or more of their housing stock by 2045.

The report finds increased flooding due to rising sea levels will result in declining property values and therefore declining property tax bases for some cities and towns.

By 2045, almost $3.6 billion-worth of residential property (based on today's values) is at risk of chronic flooding. This will potentially inflict a huge financial and emotional toll on the half a million Americans who live in the properties at risk of having their basements, backyards, garages or living rooms inundated every other week. There are many more homes at risk on the Islands. The homes that would face this flooding at the end of the century are now worth roughly $21 billion.

As much as 85 percent of the property at risk might be saved if the Paris Agreement goals are met, limiting warming to a maximum of 3.6 F (2 C) this century, she said.

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The report says properties at risk by 2045 contribute $1.5 billion to local tax bases today.

Florida's municipalities could take a large hit to their property tax revenues by 2045, and the state will be the greatest hit of all coastal states in the lower 48 by the end of the century, according to the report.

Hurricane Sandy flooded the New Jersey shoreline in 2012. "People on the waterfront won't be able to stay unless they are very wealthy".

The report warns of a potential housing market crisis, once risk perceptions catch up with reality.

UCS senior climate scientist Kristina Dahl told The Guardian. "If we manage to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement by keeping warming to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius and if ice loss is limited, 85 percent of all affected residential properties-valued at $782 billion today and now accounting for more than $10.4 billion in annual property tax revenue to municipal governments-could avoid chronic flooding this century".

"The longer we wait to drastically reduce emissions, the less likely it is that we will achieve this outcome". These flawed policies and incentives include incomplete or outdated flood risk information, subsidized insurance, lax zoning and building codes, incentives for business-as-usual building and re-building, and incomplete credit ratings.

ALLEN: Real estate in 22 states and the District of Columbia.

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