Road Vulnerabilities to Projected Sea-Level Rise by County: North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia
16 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2019
Date Written: June 1, 2019
Sea level rise and sinking land surface means that the coastal areas in the South Atlantic are very likely to experience a relative sea level rise of one to four feet in the coming century. Many communities are already experiencing impacts of recurrent, sometimes called nuisance flooding, associated with “king tides” and meteorological events. For the state and county and local governments, sea level rise and increased flooding pose a significant, costly, and persistent threat to roads and highways. These natural disasters and chronic flood damages will inevitably encourage decision-makers to reconsider the status quo of road maintenance and repair. Under projected sea level rise, repetitive or severe damages will lead to tough decisions about whether to abandon existing roads, decrease routine maintenance, or transfer control of the roads to different government authorities.
To begin to understand the potential scope of the problem, this white paper presents an analysis of roadways in coastal cities and counties in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia vulnerable to sea level rise under one-, two-, and three-foot scenarios, using sea level rise data from NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management Sea Level Rise Viewer Data Download.
Keywords: sea level rise, adaptation, flooding, roads
JEL Classification: K32, L98, R42, R52
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation