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Sandy’s legacy and sea level rise

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, editors at the Fayetteville Observer say state lawmakers would be wise to examine some of the damage left behind, and then reconsider a bill passed over the summer that bans the state from using the latest scientific data to predict how much the sea level will rise:

‘We saw waves rolling through Outer Banks neighborhoods, flood tides swallowing up the first stories of houses. We saw huge surf slamming into oceanside homes. And we saw, as we do so often, waves rolling across N.C. 12.

We hope members of the General Assembly saw those photos, so they could see what a light swipe looks like. It doesn’t take a direct hit to create havoc.

We wish lawmakers had looked at similar photos last spring, as they voted on a measure forcing coastal planners to ignore science as they make decisions about coastal development. Science says ocean levels are rising and flooding from coastal storms will get more severe. Sandy may be demonstrating that this week. But development may only be guided by historic data, not science, the law says.

That’s stupid. We’ve seen the evidence.’

 

(Image: NCDOT photo Kitty Hawk)

4 Comments

  1. Jack

    October 30, 2012 at 9:53 am

    One-hundred years ago or today a category 1 hurricane floods a community that is only feet above sea level.

  2. Cyndi Bunn

    October 30, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Come on Rob, please tell me this is an April Fools post…

  3. Fred Lashley

    October 31, 2012 at 8:55 am

    The difference is that 100 years ago we had far fewer structures built in highly vulnerable areas. When planning for the future we should use all resources available to us, rather than legislating to ignore scientific data.

    I highly recommend reading “The Battle for North Carolina’s Coast” by Stanley R Riggs, Dorithea V Ames, Stephen J. Culver, and David J. Mallinson; University of North Carolina Press for an in depth analysis of more than 40 years of field research on our dynamic coastal system.

  4. Jack

    October 31, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Fact remains that whether one or 1,000 homes are built on an island only feet above sea level it’s going to get flooded when a hurricane comes along. That is the scientific data.