Officials: Flooding at high tide is more frequent as sea level rises

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said high tide flooding has become more common as sea levels rise and affect residents of cities and coastal states.

Flooding that previously only occurred during large storms now occurs more regularly from simple causes, such as full moons or changes in currents and winds, NOAA said in its annual State of High Tide Flooding and 2022 Outlook.

The report outlines areas of the country expected to experience heavy flooding in 2023, including Washington state, the Bellingham Herald reported.

High tide flooding is defined as “the overflow or excessive accumulation of seawater at high tide that covers low areas, and usually occurs when tides reach between 1.75 and 2 feet above the average daily high tide and begin to spill into the streets or bubble up from the storm drains,” the NOAA website states.

The report indicates that in 2022 there will continue to be an increase of more than 150% in high tide flooding compared to the year 2000 in communities in the eastern United States and the Gulf States. The report also predicts that in 2050, high tide flooding across the United States is expected to occur between 45 and 70 days per year on average, while the report predicts only three to seven days of flooding in 2023.

In Washington state, there’s an over 80% chance of 10 or more floods occurring each year, and the costs of flooding exceed those of all other natural disasters, according to the state Department of Ecology. from Washington.

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