Get your hip waders: New EPA report says Wilmington No. 1 in coastal cities for flooding

(Photo: Creative Commons, Wikimedia)

(Photo: Creative Commons, Wikimedia)

Since 2010, for an average of 49 days each year — the equivalent of seven weeks — Wilmington has flooded. That figure distinguishes the city as first in the number of coastal flood days in the U.S., a phenomenon spurred  by climate change.

A series of reports, “Climate Change Indicators,” released Tuesday by the Environmental Protection Agency, portends more flooding trouble along the mid-Atlantic and Southeast coasts.

“Floods are now at least 10 times more common there than they were in the 1950s,” the report on coastal flooding reads. The change is because of higher-than-average rises in relative sea level — the height of the ocean relative to the land at a particular location – – coupled with sinking land in places along the coast.

For example, North Carolina’s March 2015 sea-level rise report notes that land along northeast part of the coast is sinking. That area is also prone to rising oceans.

With a population of 75,000 and at just 50 feet above sea level, Wilmington is, thankfully, not sinking, like Duck and Cape Hatteras are. But the city is sandwiched on a sliver between Wrightsville Beach and the Cape Fear River, making it vulnerable to nuisance flooding — flooding not associated with severe storms.

International climate scientists estimate that depending on the level of greenhouse gases warming the atmosphere, the seas could rise from 3.5 inches to 9 inches in Wilmington by 2045.

The city has completed a Community Resilience Project , which calls for possible land-use restrictions and stormwater improvements to offset the impacts, especially along Market, Front and (the aptly named) Water streets, which lie along the Cape Fear River.

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Last month Republicans in North Carolina joined a nationwide conservative push to file legislation t [...]

Nearly 40 years ago, Yolanda Strickland felt the sting of racism for the first time. She was 10, a f [...]

WASHINGTON — Congress had yet to even schedule a hearing on a measure granting statehood to the Dist [...]

A morning in evictions court: 123 cases, residents of 31 households on the verge of homelessness On [...]

The post Anti-trans bills don’t fall far from the HB2 tree appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Cooper’s modest spending proposal illustrates how far we’ve fallen Gov. Roy Cooper proposed a new tw [...]

In his response to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s recent State of the State address, Senate Majority Lead [...]

The post GOP attempts to overrule Cooper’s pandemic powers appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]