Special Report

Beach Towns That Will Soon Be Under Water

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6. Galveston, Texas
> Total population (2016): 49,443
> Homes at risk: 8,182
> Pct. of total pop. in at risk homes: 17.7%
> Value at risk: $2.46 billion

Galveston, Texas, is the site of the worst natural disaster in the nation’s history, when in 1900, a hurricane swept over the city, killing 8,000 people. Galveston is about 51 miles southeast of downtown Houston, and the island city juts out into the Gulf Mexico. Climate Central projects a risk of 37% a flood of more than 9 feet will happen between now and 2050.

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5. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
> Total population (2016): 39,651
> Homes at risk: 8,194
> Pct. of total pop. in at risk homes: 17.2%
> Value at risk: $4.66 billion

Golf haven Hilton Head, South Carolina, is at risk of soon going under water. Climate Central projects an 86% risk of at least one flood over 4 feet occurring between now and 2050. Over the 10-year period that ended in 2014, Hilton Head had 152 coastal flood days, compared with 115 for the previous 10-year span.

Source: Courtesy of Google Maps 2016

4. North Beach Haven, New Jersey
> Total population (2016): 2,250
> Homes at risk: 10,293
> Pct. of total pop. in at risk homes: 57.5%
> Value at risk: $7.78 billion

North Beach Haven, New Jersey, is a resort town on Long Beach Island, a long, narrow strip of land. The town is about an hour north of Atlantic City. Superstorm Sandy tore apart houses and left piles of sand in the streets of North Beach Haven in 2012. Climate Central projects a 74% risk of at least one flood over 5 feet taking place between today and 2050.

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3. Ocean City, New Jersey
> Total population (2016): 11,430
> Homes at risk: 11,110
> Pct. of total pop. in at risk homes: 53.1%
> Value at risk: $5.89 billion

Ocean City, New Jersey, located about a half-hour south of Atlantic City, touts itself as a family-friendly beach resort that is also a dry town, meaning no alcohol can be purchased there. Sea-level increases and frequent flooding episodes have cost the town about $530 million in lost property value over the period from 2005 to 2017, according to a study done by data science organization First Street Foundation and Columbia University.

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2. Ocean City, Maryland
> Total population (2016): 7,041
> Homes at risk: 11,478
> Pct. of total pop. in at risk homes: 34.9%
> Value at risk: $2.90 billion

Another Ocean City on our list is Ocean City, Maryland, just south of Delaware. There is a 93% risk at least one flood over 5 feet will occur between today and 2050 in the Ocean City area, according to Climate Central. Maryland’s Eastern Shore is one of the communities that is at higher risk of rising waters, according to a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, which also notes that half or more of the usable land in Ocean City may be chronically inundated by 2100.

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1. Miami Beach, Florida
> Total population (2016): 91,784
> Homes at risk: 25,986
> Pct. of total pop. in at risk homes: 36.1%
> Value at risk: $16.63 billion

Miami Beach, Florida, is the U.S. city most likely to soon be under water. The city has more people and more property at risk of rising water than any other American city on our list. Miami Beach will face chronic inundation by 2035, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Nearly 26,000 homes area are at risk of flooding by 2060.