BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new study says several parts of Maryland are in particular danger for an increase in high-tide flooding. This comes after the Union of Concerned Scientists press conference Wednesday morning, showing flooding that rarely occurs now will soon change.
Rick Ritter has more on the dire warnings for residents who live near the water.
Just to give you an idea, scientists say we have about 17 floods a year in our area now. They’re predicting more than 200 floods a year by 2045—flooding that will extend further inland, chasing people out of their homes and businesses on a regular basis.
Cars under water, front yards turned to swimming pools and some people left stranded—Baltimore is no stranger to floods wreaking havoc on the area.
“It’s going to be a constant problem,” said Sharen Udell.
But scientists say the worst is yet to come.
A new report shows because of human-driven climate change, areas like Baltimore and Ocean City are in line for a steep increase in high-tide floods.
“The seas have risen and globally, that’s about eight inches,” said Brenda Ekwurzel, UCS. “In Baltimore, it’s actually much higher.”
Flooding they say will soon be “the norm.”
“This type of flooding we’re talking about can happen on a clear day,” Ekwurzel said.
The news comes as a shock to some, but not Kirsten Baja. Baltimore’s Office of Sustainability prepares for both tidal and non-tidal flooding.
“It’s not just going to be considering how the water is coming up but also how it’s coming down,” Baja said.
And how it can ravage through communities around the harbor.
“Fells Point, the Promenade, Canton—all those sort of waterfront areas are most at risk,” she said.
Scientists believe at least 18 floods a month will occur by 2045. Some could be minor; others will threaten property, businesses and maybe even lives.
One of those could be the Admiral’s Cup in Fells Point.
“This issue is going to impact businesses,” Udell said.
In 2003, Hurricane Isabel ripped through the same area. What scientists are predicting can leave similar devastation.
“It’s going to impact us greatly and we need to be thinking long term,” Udell said.
Exactly what Baja and company are doing: preparing for a potential nightmare.
“It doesn’t hurt us to move forward and be a proactive community,” Baja said.
The Office of Sustainability is working on campaigns to help raise more awareness about the potential increase in high-tide flooding.
The UCS study is based on tide gauges in communities all the way from Portland, Maine, to Freeport, Texas.
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