ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Could parts of Maryland be underwater in the next few years? Some scientists warn the state is one of the most vulnerable to climate change, with sea levels rising rapidly, especially in the Chesapeake Bay.

Meghan McCorkell has a look at the potential impact.

Scientists warn the Inner Harbor could flood ten percent by 2045 if sea levels continue to rise.

Super Storm Sandy in 2012. Crisfield bore the brunt of the storm in Maryland. The surge of water–sealing off the town.

“It’s the worst I’ve seen since I’ve been around,” one man said.

Millers Island–underwater during Hurricane Isabel in 2003.

The same storm brought catastrophic flooding to Annapolis. The entire historic area–underwater. Signs of the storm–still evident today, as flood waters from Friday morning’s high tide remain in the street.

“We have a lot of concern from business owners and residents that it’s affecting them dramatically on a day to day basis,” said Mayor Mike Pantelides, (R) Annapolis.

Annapolis is ranked the number one city affected by climate change, with sea levels in the Chesapeake Bay rising three times faster than average.

Right now, the City Dock area floods about 50 times a year. Scientists say by 2030, it could happen five times as often.

“In 2045, some places on the Maryland coast could see a whopping 411 flood events per year. So that’s several times a day,” said Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel, Union of Concerned Scientists.

A map shows the impact a four-foot rise in sea level could potentially cause in Maryland.

On Friday, a congressional hearing was held at the Naval Academy to discuss the urgent need for flood protection and federal dollars to help do it.

“The tools are in place to fix flooding and address climate change. We just need the money to make that happen,” Mayor Pantelides said.

To protect coastal cities, while preserving the Chesapeake Bay.

Officials say the Chesapeake Bay contributes $107 billion to the Maryland economy every year.

The city of Annapolis is currently working on a plan to help alleviate some of the future flooding for businesses and homeowners.


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