New Homes Face Threat of Flooding in Coastal States

August 7, 2019
Photo: Unsplash/Wade Austin Ellis

At the current rate of construction, 17,800 homes built after 2009 will be at serious risk of climate change-induced flooding by 2050, Route Fifty reports.

Areas that fall within a 10-year floodplain are regarded as having a 10 percent probability of flooding each year. Roughly 17,800 coastal homes built after 2009 run the 10 percent flood risk by 2050 without any reduction in greenhouse gas pollution, the report states. 

New Jersey leads states in the number of houses built in 10-year flood-risk zones, with more than 4,500 homes, built between 2010 and 2017, according to a report released this week by Climate Central and Zillow. The $4.6 billion in housing development is likely driven by reconstruction following destruction and flooding from superstorm Sandy in 2012, the report notes. 

Connecticut leads the states in the rate of housing development in flood-prone areas. The 478 homes built between 2010 and 2017 in areas within the 10-year floodplain represents housing growth that is 3.5 times that of development in safer places, the report found. 

The fast pace of construction in flood-prone locations was no surprise to flooding experts, who said state and local governments have had little incentive to discourage or restrict development in risky areas. 

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