Aerial pictures of North Carolina’s coast, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU
“George Kasimos has almost finished repairing flood damage to his waterfront home, but his Superstorm Sandy nightmare is far from over.
Like thousands of others in the hardest-hit coastal stretches of New Jersey and New York, his life is in limbo as he waits to see if tough new coastal rebuilding rules make it just too expensive for him to stay. Federal authorities have been issuing them a sobering warning: Raise your homes above the flood plain or face soaring flood insurance costs. For many, it’s an impossible choice.
They think Sandy was a fluke, a storm to end all storms, the kind they won’t ever see again. And they’re preparing to do battle with the government for the right to continue living just as they have for generations, in low-lying abodes that were never built to endure storms, let alone the fierce hurricanes of the 21st century…”
We Need to Retreat From the Beach, By Orrin Pilkey
As ocean waters warm, the Northeast is likely to face more Sandy-like storms. And as sea levels continue to rise, the surges of these future storms will be higher and even more deadly. We can’t stop these powerful storms. But we can reduce the deaths and damage they cause… An Op Ed by Orrin H. Pilkey.