Risk of Severe Floods Increases for New York City: Study

Risk of Severe Floods Increases for New York City: Study

Number of factors has significantly increased the risk for New York City to witness severe floods, finds a novel study. Sea level rise, wetlands' damage, dredging of waterways and shift in storm tracks among other factors have made parts of New York to be 20 times more susceptible to floods since mid 1880s.

Now, chance of water crossing over the Manhattan seawall has increased by at least 20 times than 170 years ago. Since the mid-19th century, sea-level rise has increased water levels along New York harbor by around a foot and a half.

Stefan Talke from Portland State University largely blamed sea-level rise to be the reason behind the prediction that New York is at risk to face extensive and frequent flooding. The study also confirms the New York harbor storm tide produced by Hurricane Sandy was the biggest since 1821.

After analyzing tide gauge data, Talke said a major '10-year storm' hitting New York will cause more damage than the identical storms occurred in the mid-1800s. To reach at the above mentioned conclusion, researchers have photographed hundreds of pages of handwritten hourly and daily tide gauge data dating back to 1844, which is stored at the U. S. National Archives in College Park in Portland.

The data was adjusted and using newspaper accounts of big storms happened in the past. The compiled data was used to assess storm tide levels and to know about trends which were further compared with climate change.

Rise in storm tide level and rise in sea level led researchers to know that water can be expected to overtop the lower Manhattan seawall once every four to five years. If the levels would be lower, the toppling is expected to take place every 100 to 400 years.


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