Tides and New Normal

09 Sep Tides and New Normal

Here’s an article about the tidal influence on water levels for our neighbor’s in Charleston. -Mayor Billy


Bolster communities’ resilience against rising sea levels


For ocean-dependent states and coastal communities like Charleston, sea level rise is a reality that cannot be avoided. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric study released today shows that between May 2014 and May 2015 Charleston dealt with more than 30 days of “nuisance flooding.” This is probably no surprise to anyone who has stepped into puddles in Charleston’s City Market on a sunny day, or who has driven down any number of flooded streets.

Compared to the past 50 years, the frequency of nuisance flooding in Charleston has increased by more than 400 percent. In response, Charleston has improved downtown water storage systems, reducing downtown flooding, enabling crosstown traffic, and helping to sustain the vital tourist economy.

But in coming years, this type of tidal influence on water level will become the new normal for coastal communities like Charleston, as sea level rise continues to push more and more water onto downtown coastal streets and at-risk coastal highways. As America’s coastal communities grow more vulnerable to inundation and flooding, and all communities across our nation face a future of evolving environmental challenges, the key question is: How can we help communities become more resilient and adapt to a new normal?