‘Sunny day’ high-tide flooding may soon affect much of Florida’s coast
St. Petersburg faces the highest long-term projection of flooding days of any of the 15 cities in Florida cited by the report.
A new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows coastal communities across the country saw record-setting high-tide flooding last year.
Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA's National Ocean Service, said the eastern Gulf of Mexico — including Florida — saw nine flood days last year. That's a 600% increase since the year 2000.
LeBouef says it's only going to get worse.
"For the first time in human history, the infrastructure we build must be designed and constructed with future conditions in mind," she said. "And along the coast, that means high-tide flooding conditions in mind."
Here are some of the report's findings:
St. Petersburg faces the highest long-term projection of flooding days of any of the 15 cities in Florida cited by the report. St. Petersburg saw two to three days of high-tide flooding in 2020. That number is projected to increase to 15 to 85 days in 2050.
Clearwater saw four to six high-tide flood days in 2020. That is projected to increase to 10 to 55 days in 2050.
Miami saw three to six days in 2020, and is projected to jump to between 10 to 55 days in 2050.
Cape Canaveral saw seven to 12 days in 2020, and is expected to increase to between 20 to 65 days in 2050.
"As sea level rise continues, damaging floods that decades ago happened only during a storm are now happening more regularly, even without severe weather such as during a full moon, tide or with a change in wind and currents," LeBouef said.