Study: Island at high risk of flooding by rising seas
Coming input from FEMA could further alter town building codes.
Locals often refer to Palm Beach simply as “the island.”
And that nickname takes on an especially significant meaning when the conversation turns to the barrier island’s risk of flooding if sea levels rise, as leading climatologists predict they will over the coming decades.
With the Atlantic Ocean on one side of the narrow island and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other, Palm Beach is among those in the eye of the sea-level storm.
Such concerns were brought into sharp relief in a nationwide study released last week by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The study paired real estate data from the online company Zillow with worst-case sea-level-rise scenarios compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The analysis was reported Monday by the Palm Beach Post.
The study examines properties by ZIP code, including 33480, which includes Palm Beach and South Palm Beach. In those areas alone, 720 homes in low-lying areas will be at risk of chronic flooding from rising sea levels by the year 2045, the study predicts. Those properties have an estimated value of about $1 billion in today’s dollars.