... And the Water Don't Rise: Miami's War Against Flooding

April 13, 2018
Heron in Everglades
Photo: Unsplash/Alex Shutin

Flooding in Miami is so severe and consistent that there is such a concept as "sunny day flooding," where residents can anticipate its arrival by the tides and calendar. 

Scientist Jayantha Obeysekera of the South Florida Water Management District explains that there are three "whammies," a name for major water challenges, that Southern Florida faces. One is faster sea-level rise in Miami than for most of the world, due to ocean currents and Miami's location. The second is the geological conditions of the city, which Obeysekera tells Business Insider, "is like Swiss cheese." The third factor is an unknown -- the effect of future storms, which scientists anticipate will be more intense. 

Miami “is kind of the poster child for a major city in big trouble,” said Jeff Goodell, author of " The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World." Beyond the damage to homes, or other infrastructure, the flooding also threatens drinking water and plant life. Ultimately, it means large parts of the city could become permanently uninhabitable. The rest of the US should be paying close attention to how Miami handles sea-level rise in the coming years. It could provide a window into the future...

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