Thanks to more up-to-date measurements and predictive abilities, the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council is predicting that more of Rhode Island’s coastal communities are vulnerable to flooding should major storms hit. And that vulnerability is only going to increase over time, according to its executive director, Grover Fugate.
If a a 100-year storm surge – similar to the effects of Hurricane Carol in 1954 – were to hit the Ocean State today, the CRMC predicts that 5.5 percent of residential properties and 12.7 percent of commercial properties would be damaged by water. With 3 feet of sea-level rise, estimated to occur by 2050, those percentages grow to 8.4 percent and 15.6 percent, respectively. And by 2080, with 7 feet of sea-level rise, the CRMC predicts that 11.5 percent of homes and 18.9 percent of businesses would be exposed to flooding.
Based on the CRMC models, half or more of all commercial properties in Barrington, Block Island, Newport, Prudence Island and Warren would be damaged by water by 2080, while 64.4 percent of Barrington homes and 44.7 percent of Warren homes would be flooded. Do these predictions play into where you are interested in living or investing?