Sea Level Rising Projected To Put New Coastal NC Homes At Risk

Sea Level Rising Projected To Put New Coastal NC Homes At Risk

1:14pm Aug 08, 2019
Waves crash along Avon, N.C., in the Outer Banks. Sea level rise is projected to make “once a decade floods” reach much farther inland than they do today. (DroneBase via AP)

A new study shows that Coastal North Carolina is at risk of flooding due to rising sea levels. The study focuses on potential risks but makes no policy recommendations.

The report is a joint effort between Climate Central, a nonprofit focusing on the impact of climate change, and Zillow, which publishes online real estate values. 

The research shows that nearly 2,000 houses in the state will be in 10-year flood zones come 2050 — the third-highest ranking in the country. And that’s if emissions are cut, in line with the Paris Agreement, from which the U.S. announced a withdrawal.

Sea level rise is projected to make these “once a decade floods” reach much farther inland than they do today. The results could be damage to homes, degraded infrastructure, washed-out beaches, and mold, to name a few. The study says that homeowners, renters, and investors could face steep personal and financial losses in the years ahead. 

The report also highlights new home builds in annual flood zones for which North Carolina is ranked second in the nation.

While the paper does not make policy recommendations, it does indicate that it would make more financial sense to build new houses outside of these flood zones.

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