Special Report

Beach Towns That Will Soon Be Under Water

Source: thesoupboy / Flickr

11. St. Petersburg, Florida
> Total population (2016): 253,585
> Homes at risk: 4,664
> Pct. of total pop. in at risk homes: 4.4%
> Value at risk: $1.36 billion

According to the St. Petersburg, Florida, website, the city is crafting plans to address climate change, including making stormwater and wastewater infrastructure improvements based on a projected sea level rise that is based on a tide gauge the city has used since 1946.

Source: jaxstrong / Flickr

10. Sunny Isles Beach, Florida
> Total population (2016): 21,937
> Homes at risk: 6,343
> Pct. of total pop. in at risk homes: 20.1%
> Value at risk: $2.55 billion

Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, is located about 21 miles north of Miami and is one of nine Florida towns on this list. Climate Central predicts the resort town has a 73% risk of at least one flood over 3 feet taking place by 2050. In order to address climate change, the city has made stormwater improvements, purchased land for green space, and planted hundreds of trees, according to the website.

Source: eschipul / Flickr

9. Key West, Florida
> Total population (2016): 26,039
> Homes at risk: 6,921
> Pct. of total pop. in at risk homes: 36.7%
> Value at risk: $3.33 billion

Key West, Florida, is the southernmost point of the continental United States. It is known more for its snorkeling and scuba diving. With an average elevation of 4.7 feet above sea level, Key West is vulnerable to storm damage. Residents have learned to live with frequent flooding. A NOAA tidal measure in Key West has tallied an increase of 9 inches in sea level over the past century. To combat flooding, Key West has invested in one-way valves on storm drains to block seawaters from surging on to city streets.

Source: Creative-Family / Getty Images

8. Atlantic City, New Jersey
> Total population (2016): 39,306
> Homes at risk: 7,055
> Pct. of total pop. in at risk homes: 34.5%
> Value at risk: $1.05 billion

It’s a good bet that Atlantic City, New Jersey, one of the East Coast’s gambling meccas, will have flooding issues in the years to come. Nearly seven years ago, Superstorm Sandy shattered windows of casinos, forced residents to evacuate the city, and tore up the city’s famed boardwalk. Climate Central predicts a 74% risk of at least one flood over 5 feet occurring between now and 2050 in the Atlantic City.

Source: Creative-Family / Getty Images

7. Wildwood, New Jersey
> Total population (2016): 5,192
> Homes at risk: 8,109
> Pct. of total pop. in at risk homes: 33.8%
> Value at risk: $2.38 billion

Wildwood, New Jersey, less than hour south of Atlantic City, is famed for its Doo Wop-era motels. It also suffered during Superstorm Sandy. A report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the New Jersey Back Bay region this past March said construction of seawalls in Wildwood and Sea Isle City, will “manage risk for both high and low frequency events.” Construction of those storm walls may protect some of the more than 8,000 area homes at high flood risk.

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