Tampa Bay flood risk? Huge. What can we do about it?
Kenneth Sassaman, an archaeologist from The University of Florida , calls it a conundrum. And points out nature is still in charge. The oceans of the world are rising. And we in Florida, are all on the same beach. Tampa Bay as you have likely seen, is prone to flooding in many areas, and it’s not getting better anytime soon. What do we do?
Experts say be logical. Study the risk, and react. Experts in Florida say it will take billions to build up defense for vulnerable areas. All they need is the money. A lot of money to raise structure, seawalls, and protect water and power systems.
Some think this may lead to lower home values in some cases, near the water. Lenders may be less likely to offer a 30 year mortgage on a home at higher risk of flooding. For years we have been creative with redirecting, building around, diverting and draining. Sooner or later, options may diminish.
Some of Tampa Bay’s low lying areas flood today on a higher tide. Sunny day. No rain. Just. tide. Inch by inch, year by year, a little higher. Maybe it’s time we work with rather than try to engineer around the change? Shore Acres in St. Petersburg floods often. officials in St. Pete conducted a study on buying and demolishing “high risk” homes. The city says the study proved this does not make financial sense. Some would not sell, and patchwork solutions would not diminish risk or infrastructure expenses.
The Governor introduced a statewide plan. Local cities formed a coalition. Almost all waterfront cities and communities are hiring coordinators for climate change and projects on sustainability. Tampa Bay flood risk. Does your community have a climate plan?