The phenomenon of global warming is changing the world’s weather patterns, according to most leading environmental scientists. One of the terrifying side effects of global warming is rising sea levels, since an average rise of only a few inches could be enough to overpower several American cities and coastal communities. While there is much debate over which U.S. areas will be hit hardest, the following five are expected to be profoundly affected by rising sea levels by the end of the 21st century.
Florida is home to more than 600 square miles of land that is less than one meter above sea level. It is estimated that 1.6 million people live in those areas, so even a modest rise in the sea level over the next nine decades could threaten huge swathes of the Sunshine State. The nature of the bedrock on the Miami coast makes the building of sea walls almost impossible, so the city’s future is somewhat uncertain.
The people of Louisiana have grown used to defending their homes against flooding due to the low-lying nature of the state. Indeed, the areas of New Orleans that were the worst affected by Hurricane Katrina were actually below sea level. That history may mean Louisiana is better prepared for rising sea levels than Florida, but with nearly 900,000 people living less than a meter above sea level, Louisiana has the unfortunate honor of being the USA’s most at-risk flood hotspot.
3. New York City
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently claimed that the risk of flooding in the USA will rise by 45% by the end of this century, and that could mean the city of New York, and Manhattan in particular, could see more of the devastating scenes that followed Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Around 300,000 people live less than a meter above sea level, and even with sea walls, rising seas combined with huge storm swells may mean that the sight of cars floating down the streets of Manhattan could become far more common.
4. South Carolina
South Carolina’s susceptibility to flooding was demonstrated in devastating fashion in 1989, when Hurricane Hugo wreaked havoc on the city of Charleston. During the infamous storm, 5-foot walls of water breached the city’s sea defenses with ease, destroying around 75% of the properties in the historic district.
While most people don’t associate California with regular flooding, and rightly so, a rise in the sea level of only one foot could push high-tide levels somewhere near 5 feet. It is estimated that Long Beach and Huntington Beach could be at significant risk of regular flooding by the end of the 21st century, since many of the homes and properties in those areas stand only 4 feet above sea level.
Insuring a home along the Louisiana or South Carolina coast is already far more expensive than the national average, but if scientists’ predictions prove accurate, many homes on American coastlines will be subjected to steeply rising insurance costs as the century progresses. However, enlisting the help of an experienced insurance agent should help people find the cheapest premiums possible.
Call Direct Flood Insurance Agency LLC now at 504-812-7811 if you have questions and concerns about living in a flood hotspot or for a Flood Insurance Quote. One of our agents will be happy to discuss your options with you.