Study: OC, LA Beach Communities At Risk Of Chronic Flooding Within 13 Years

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – Some Orange and Los Angeles county beach communities could see habitual flooding beginning as early as 2030, according to a study released Wednesday.

Areas of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Balboa Island, Seal Beach, Long Beach and Marina del Rey could see chronic flooding beginning as early as 2030, according to a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy group.

This assumes that carbon emissions continue to rise and ice sheets melt to produce a 6.5-foot sea level rise by the end of the 21st Century, UCS determined.

“Chronic inundation” flooding is defined by UCS as occurring approximately 26 times per year, or about twice a month, the report states.

The UCS provides an interactive map which shows exactly which areas could experience chronic flooding. According to its map, in Huntington Beach, the flooding would reach as far inland as Huntington Central Park.

Balboa Island, meanwhile, would find itself consistently under water.

The UCS offers differing scenarios based on how much sea levels rise depending on worldwide carbon emissions. Assuming an “intermediate scenario” in which there is a 4-foot sea level rise worldwide, by 2035, about 170 U.S. communities will experience chronic inundation, UCS found. By 2060, that number will jump to 270 communities, and by 2100, it will be at 490 communities.

In an intermediate scenario, 40 percent of all oceanfront communities on the East and Gulf Coasts would experience chronic inundation by 2100.

To look at the interactive map, click here. To read the full report, click here.

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