‘Repetitive Loss’ Properties Raise Debate Over Rebuilding After Floods

Mantoloking, NJ. Aerial pictures of New Jersey’s coast, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU


Throughout Connecticut, thousands of homes have suffered: repetitive loss, as the Federal Emergency Management Agency calls it, from flooding.

Many residents have rebuilt multiple times. And many, also have used government funds from an alphabet soup of federal programs and agencies to do some, if not all, of the work.

But shoreline and climate experts, public officials and others have grown increasingly critical of such programs, questioning question the use of public funds to rebuild repetitive loss properties over and over, and arguing that they encourage rebuilding in places that have already shown themselves to be flood-prone and are likely to become more so due to climate change and its associated sea level rise…

Read Full Article, Hartford Courant

Sea-Level Rise Poses Hard Choice for Two Neighborhoods: Rebuild or Retreat? Take Part (04-25-2015)

East Coast Rebuilding, But Vulnerable to Future Sandys, LiveSccience (04-21-2013)

Shoring Up the Nation’s Crumbling Coastlines, (01-27-2013)

Sandy Reminds Us of Coastal Hazards, by Pr. Robert Young

A Year After Sandy, The Wrong Policy on Rebuilding the Coast, Yale E360 (04-09-2013)

Rebuilding the Shores, Increasing the Risks, The New York Times (04-09-2013)

U.S. Cities Lag in Race against Rising Seas, Scientific American (01-20-2015)

After Hurricane Sandy, One Man Tries To Stop The Reconstruction, Outside Magazine (10-09-2013)
Geologist Orrin Pilkey predicted exactly what a storm like Sandy would do to the mid-Atlantic coast and New York City. On a tour of destruction after the deluge, he and David Gessner ponder a troubling question: Why are people rebuilding, as if all this isn’t going to happen again?

We Need to Retreat From the Beach, Op Ed by Orrin H. 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…

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