How VA Waterfront Property Value Is Threatened by Flooding Increases
On July 10 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”) released its report, 2018 State of U.S. High Tide Flooding with a 2019 Outlook. The report focused on the increasing frequency of high tide flooding (“HTF”), which is also referred to as “sunny day” flooding because it is not triggered by rainfall. According to the report, in 2018 the national annual HTF tied its historical high of five days, and broke regional records around the Chesapeake Bay. The NOAA projects that this year some localities, including Norfolk, will experience higher than normal HTF due to a minor El Niño effect. Nationally, the projected HTF is a 100% increase since 2000. Worse, HTF is accelerating and annual flood records are expected to consistently break records for the foreseeable future. The national annual HTF is likely to increase to about 7-15 days by 2030 and 25-75 days by 2050, with some regions seeing much higher rates. NOAA’s projections state that Sewell’s Point, which recorded five days of HTF last year, could see as many as 170 days annually by 2050. This flooding has serious consequences, including eroding beaches, overwhelming water systems, disrupting harbor operations, closing roadways, destroying farm land, and lowering waterfront property values. As we have stated before, local and state government in Virginia need to allocate funds for responding to coastal flooding and make long-term infrastructure upgrades before it is too late.