- Floods are the most expensive natural disaster in the United States.
- “The way we live and the places we live in can be affected by our changing environment.”
- Louisiana, Florida, Kentucky and West Virginia have the highest concentrations of community flood risk.
A report released Monday morning warns that about a quarter of US “critical” infrastructure is at risk of flooding.
The report identifies the nation’s flood risk in residential infrastructure, commercial property, roads and social infrastructure such as local roads and schools and government, as well as key infrastructure such as utilities, airports, ports and emergency services such as police, fire and hospitals. Building.
“Our goal is to determine the amount of flooding that will make the infrastructure obsolete or inaccessible,” said Jeremy Porter of the First Street Foundation, which prepared the report.
The First Street Foundation is a Brooklyn-based nonprofit research and technology group that works to determine America’s flood risk.
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Indeed, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, floods are the most costly natural disaster in the United States and have cost the country more than 1 1 trillion in inflation-adjusted dollars since 1980.
The report, entitled “Third National Flood Risk Assessment: Infrastructure on the Brink”, considered all types of flooding, including slow river floods, coastal floods with rapid flash floods, and storm surges from the ocean.
With a growing number of flood events making headlines across the country, there is now a greater awareness of the economic and humanitarian costs that can build up flood-damaged infrastructure, the report’s authors say.
“As we saw a few weeks ago after the devastation of Hurricane Idar, our nation’s infrastructure is not built to a standard that protects us from the flood risks we face today, how these risks will increase in the next 30 years,” said Founder and Executive of First Street Foundation Director Matthew EB says.
The report noted, “Hurricane Eder’s effects have spread across the country, crippled electrical grids in southern Louisiana, flooded transportation infrastructure in the NYC metro area and killed nearly 100 people. It could be affected by our changing environment. “
States and cities are most at risk
According to the report, the highest concentrations of community flood risk are in Louisiana, Florida, Kentucky and West Virginia, 17 of the top 20 high-risk counties in the United States living in these four states. Louisiana is the only high-risk county (parish) for 6 of the top 20, and Cameron Parish is home to the highest-risk county in the United States.
When shifting the focus to quotes from the county, a large percentage of the top 20 listed cities consist of cities in the states of Louisiana (three cities) and Florida (six cities). Among those cities, New Orleans is the main population center (2nd place); Miami (8th); St. Petersburg, Florida (12th); And Tampa (1st) topped the list of “most risky” cities.
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The report also found that residential property risk across the country is expected to increase by 10% over the next 30 years, with 12.4 million properties at risk today and 13.6 million at risk of flooding in 2051.
Over the next 30 years, an additional 1.2 million residential properties, 66,000 commercial properties, 63,000 miles of roads, 6,100 pieces of social infrastructure and 2,000 pieces of critical infrastructure will also be at risk of flooding due to the effects of climate change. Incompetent, inaccessible or inaccessible.
“This report highlights the cities and counties with the most critical infrastructure
There are risks today, and it will help to know where the investment dollars will flow to best mitigate those risks, ”AB said.
Upgrading infrastructure can be expensive
Nevertheless, the necessary infrastructure upgrades can be costly. But Matthew Kahn, a professor of economics at the University of Southern California, who was not involved in the report, said there are costs hidden in high-risk floodplains without proper investment in flood prevention.
If an area has a reputation for being vulnerable to extreme climate events, people will not buy homes and businesses will not have their headquarters there, Kahn said.
“Cities that prove climate resilient – they’re going to fall into disrepair,” he said. “They’re going to have a brain drain.”
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Understanding which areas of the United States are at risk of flooding will affect the trend of home buying and homeowners’ efforts to protect their property: for example, adding steel to a foundation or applying special sealant.
Those looking for a home always consider location, taking into account factors such as the crime rate and the local school. But the risk of climate change is the newest factor in the home buying equation, Kahn said.
A Bloomberg analysis of housing data in the United States between 200 and 201 found that the average price of homes in high-risk flood areas has declined over the decades.
“If you know the punch is coming, you’re more likely to duck,” Kan said.
Complete first street flood reports can be accessed on this site.