ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)– Maryland is prone to substantial flooding at the end of the century due to predictions that the sea level will rise six to eight feet.
In 2003, Hurricane Isabel flooded the lowest parts of Annapolis, but every year the same areas flood dozens of times without storms, as tides are pushed higher by rising sea levels. It could eventually happen everyday.
“Sea level rise predictions for the end of the century are really quite high,” said Adam Markham of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Perhaps six to eight feet of sea level rise.”
At that level, real estate company Zillow, estimates more than 61,000 thousand Maryland homes are at risk for flooding by 2100. Totaling $19 billion in value. In the Baltimore area, more than 12,000 home are at risk, worth $5 billion.
“So anyone who’s living in a coastal community needs to be thinking about how to protect their community and their property from that kind of change,” Markham said.
At the Keep History Above Water conference in Annapolis, 48 states and four countries are wrestling with the same challenges.
Possible options are already being explored at the U.S. Naval Academy.
“Maybe raising a building or installing pumps around roads, or abandon, which in some areas we may have to let the water in,” said retired captain Emil Petrunico of the U.S. Navy.
“Sea level rise in Maryland will be higher than most other parts of the world,” Markham said.
Maryland is especially vulnerable, because land is sinking, while waters continue to rise.