Avoid sea level rise. Raise your neighborhood.

Port Angeles Front Street

The town raises the street. Property owners raise the adjacent buildings.

Raising streets to offset sea level rise

I just visited Port Angeles, WA to see how they coped with flooding . . . back in 1914. Built on mudflats, it was common for the young seaport to flood with every rainstorm and high tide. Their solution: raise the waterfront area.

Concrete walls were built along each side of Front Street and its cross streets creating the […]

10-foot sea level rise by 2100. That's tomorrow.

Providence hurricane barrier thumbnail

The sooner we build protections, the less we’ll pay for them.

Climate-proof providence from sea level rise

Current hurricane barrier, Providence

For years, Rhode Island planning departments have been using 6.6 feet of sea level rise by 2100. Last month, based on new NOAA estimates, they decided 9 feet 10 inches is more likely. That’s only three more feet vertically, but miles of flooding horizontally!

The announcement came with the comment, “The changes to our shoreline are profound, dramatic, and there is […]

Insure your neighborhood against flooding

Neighborhood flooding

A community’s value is more than the sum of its properties. Community flood insurance can help climate-proof a neighborhood.

Some of these homes can’t find the money for repairs. What happens to the neighborhood?

After a flood, property owners benefit from flood insurance. We get cash for our losses. The money comes faster than federal disaster assistance (usually a loan anyway). And quick repairs maintain the value of our property.

But not every owner with a home or business in […]

Will Washington still spend for climate resilience?

The federal government may no longer help to slow global warming. Will they continue to pay to prevent its damage?

Raising homes to protect from sea level rise from global warming.The US Army Corp of Engineers is proposing to raise 341 homes and businesses along the beaches and salt ponds of southern Rhode Island.

It may seem wrong to use public money to save private structures, but if we accept that federal and state funds should be used […]

Finally, official flood-mapping looks ahead

Flood maps aren’t just for mortgage lenders anymore. They’re for planners (like you and me).

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-8-16-32-amThousands of homes were flooded in New York City during Superstorm Sandy – even though they were outside the FEMA-defined floodplain. Since then, the city challenged FEMA to produce maps that are both more accurate for current storms and that take into account higher sea levels in the future.

The result: FEMA agreed to produce maps showing which homes will be at […]

Your neighbors’ insurance policies protect you

Sure, insurance helps those who get their claims paid. But the rest of us benefit too.

Properties without disaster insurance drag down nearby homevalues

If insured, your neighbors clean up their damaged properties faster. Fewer buildings are abandoned. And your middle-class neighborhood (and home value) is less likely to take an economic dive.

Another climate-proofing effect of insurance: premium discounts encourage homeowners to take hazard-mitigation steps before a disaster.

If you live in a high-risk area, chances […]

Flood risk assessment for homeowners

Remember energy audits? Soon you could benefit from a flood audit.

Newport, RI property risk from sea level riseAn expert came to your home, measured how your much energy you were wasting and how, with a few simple fixes, you could save on heating and electricity bills.

Now a RI state commission wants to offering flood audits. An expert would visit a property or business, do a flood risk assessment of the land, assets, and structure, and give […]

New uses for flooded farmland

A farm adapts to increasingly flooded land. […]

Basements could control climate-related flooding

Storing water from intense downpours or storm surge for a short time can greatly reduce damage to the community. […]