South Florida to be Soaked With 380 Floods a Year by 2045: Study

Carrying his two cats that he rescued, Troy Revis paddles away from his flooded home in Wellborn, Florida, in 2012. A new study projects 380 floods a year in South Florida by 2045. Reuters

This story was originally published by Fusion and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

A new study says much of Miami-Dade County will see the number of projected floods rise from 45 a year to 80—with a 10-inch rise in sea levels by 2030—and then an acceleration to 380 instances of flooding a year by 2045.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) came up with the projections using new data compiled by the Army Corps of Engineers.

"In 2045, given normal variations in the tides, while some days would be flood-free, many days would see one or even two flood events—one with each high tide," UCS said in its report.

The findings jibe with another recent report, from the University of Miami, that says since 2006, flooding in Miami Beach has soared 400 percent from high tides and 33 percent from rain.

Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released new flood maps that factor in population growth projections. It found that sea rise could force millions in Florida to adapt or flee. Previous estimates have projected that $2.5 billion in real estate is at risk from sea level rise.

"In terms of sheer number of people living in harm's way, [South Florida] is way at the top basically," said Stetson University ecologist Jason Evans, one of three co-authors of the paper, which was published in the journal Nature Climate Change. "It just pops out."

UCS calls on more state and federal support for local investments already underway, but state legislators continue to ignore pleas from South Florida.

"Local action is not enough," UCS said.