Monday, July 8, 2013

Flood Preps at the Florida Keys

One problem with doom and gloom scenarios is that the scenario is often of a "continuing trend" approach:  "If this annual  1% increase in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches continues, all of our arable  farm land will be used for peanuts by 2064."

While trend-line warnings certainly have their place, we might be interested in the idea that the price of peanuts might go up for instance, they usually fall apart because they don't account for a reaction to a changing situation.

Here we have just such a reaction:

Florida Keys Prepare For Sea Level Rise
Associated Press, 2 July 2013 (hat tip: NC)
A tidal gauge operating since before the Civil War has documented a sea level rise of 9 inches in the last century, and officials expect that to double over the next 50 years. So when building a new Stock Island fire station, county authorities went ahead added a foot and a half over federal flood planning directives that the ground floor be built up 9 feet.
Seasonal tidal flooding that was once a rare inconvenience is now so predictable that some businesses at the end of Key West's famed Duval Street stock sandbags just inside their front doors, ready anytime.
"It's really easy to see during our spring high tides that the sea level is coming up — for whatever reason — and we have to accommodate for that," said Johnnie Yongue, the on-site technician at the fire station for Monroe County's project management department.
Note that this does not make the keys hurricane, or flood proof, but they do argue against them becoming immediately uninhabitable.


PioneerPreppy said...

That's kinda funny though because the old US fort is now connected to the main Key and the whole area has grown together and is significantly higher than it was even fifty years ago.

russell1200 said...

Pioneer: Some portions of the Florida Keys are up fairly high. I think 18' is the maximum. But building permanent facilities on what is usually a shifting shore line is problematic even if the oceans aren't expected to rise.