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40,000 Louisiana Homes At Risk Of Chronic Flooding In 30 Years

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Will Brown
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Communities in Louisiana, like Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, are increasingly vulnerable to chronic flooding due to sea level rise -- according to a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

According to a new report, more than 40,000 Louisiana homes and 99,00 Louisiana residents are at risk of chronic flooding due to rising seas in the next 30 years. In total, 311,000 homes may be at risk across the United States.

 

The report was published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a climate change advocacy group. Researchers made the calculation by combining sea level rise predictions with data from Zillow, an online real estate company.

The report defines “chronic flooding” as any property that floods more than 26 times per year — every other week, on average.

In Louisiana, Terrebonne Parish could be most affected — with 10,000 properties at risk. Lafourche and St. Charles Parishes are not far behind, with 8,000 and 5,000 homes at risk of chronic flooding, respectively.

 

That that could mean big economic changes for coastal residents and communities, the report warns. If flood insurance rates increase, for example, and home values go down, some people may not be able to afford their mortgages.

 

The report advocates for cutting emissions in order to decrease sea level rise. It also places blame on policies that have incentivized development in flood-prone landscapes.

 

The Union of Concerned Scientists also released a data viewer in tandem with the report, which allows users to view the impact of different sea-level rise on coastal communities across the country.

 

Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Walton Family Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Foundation for Louisiana, and local listeners.

As Coastal Reporter, Travis Lux covers flood protection, coastal restoration, infrastructure, the energy and seafood industries, and the environment. In this role he's reported on everything from pipeline protests in the Atchafalaya swamp, to how shrimpers cope with low prices. He had a big hand in producing the series, New Orleans: Ready Or Not?, which examined how prepared New Orleans is for a future with more extreme weather. In 2017, Travis co-produced two episodes of TriPod: New Orleans at 300 examining New Orleans' historic efforts at flood protection. One episode, NOLA vs Nature: The Other Biggest Flood in New Orleans History, was recognized with awards from the Public Radio News Directors and the New Orleans Press Club. His stories often find a wider audience on national programs, too, like NPR's Morning Edition, WBUR's Here and Now, and WHYY's The Pulse.

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