Special Report

Beach Towns That Will Soon Be Under Water

There are about 13,000 miles of coastline in the 48 contiguous United States, and by the end of the century, these contours will be greatly altered by climate change.

By the close of the 21st century, about 2.5 million properties worth $1.07 trillion, in cities and towns along the coastline will be at risk of chronic flooding, according to a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy organization. Chronic flooding, as defined by the scientists group, means flooding that occurs 26 times a year or more. 

24/7 Tempo has identified the 21 beach towns in the United States that will soon be under water, based on data in the Union of Concerned Scientists report “Underwater: Rising Seas, Chronic Floods, and the Implications for US Coastal Real Estate.” Areas were ranked by the total number of homes that will be at risk of flooding by the year 2060. 

Rising waters will have far-reaching implications for the economy. Apart from the impact on financial and real estate markets, town infrastructure such as roads, bridges, power plants, airports, public buildings, military bases, would be at risk of more frequent inundation. These are the disaster scenarios caused by climate change.

Chronic flooding also will have a social impact as well, as beloved destinations holding memories of boardwalk strolls, young romance, crashing ocean waves, and greasy summer food are inundated with rising waters and could become virtually unlivable. These are the summer getaways we’re losing to climate change.

Some areas of the nation, such as coastal Louisiana and the eastern shore of Maryland, are already facing the reality of chronic flooding, according to the report.

Click here to see beach towns that will soon be under water
Click here to read our methodology

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