10 November 2012

Before and After Superstorm Sandy- USGS Releases Amazing pics.

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Sandy almost cut a new inlet at Mantiloking NJ. Image courtesy of the USGS.

NOAA Data shows the sea level rise at the Battery in NY is running at 2.77mm/year now. The same storm 50 years from now will be worse. The same storm 90 years from now when the sea is at least 30 cm higher ( likely much more) will be far worse.

Sandy DID cut a new inlet on Fire Island NY. USGS image.

Barrier Islands are nature’s buffer from storms. New inlets are a natural occurrence during storms and the sands are constantly shifting. Building on them is fraught with risk, but taxpayers all pay for the federal flood insurance that protects property owners there. After Sandy, I suspect there will be a much greater discussion about whether this is a good idea. Without flood insurance far fewer people will take the risk, but this has economic considerations as well.

Betting against the water rising on a barrier island is ALWAYS a bad bet. Add in climate change and it becomes a foolish one as well.