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Persistent flooding having economic impact on coastal cities

Atlantic City, Annapolis among communities affected. 

March 05, 2019 |

Courtesy Pixabay

Persistent flooding from high tides and minor storms are damaging economies in some coastal cities including Atlantic City and Annapolis.

In Annapolis, Maryland’s capital, eight flood-affected downtown businesses missed out on 3,000 customer visits in 2017, according to a study by Stanford University researchers. The losses amounted to between $86,000 and $172,000, the study says.

The report highlights the fact that flooding doesn’t have to be tsunami-like from giant storms to damage local economies. Lesser amounts of water surging from storm drains and gutters is having a notable impact, even though these flooding events don’t make national headlines.

Minor floods reduce customer visits to local businesses by about 40% compared with a normal day, the study says. Moderate floods diminish them by up to 65%, and major floods by nearly 90%. Given that one foot of water is enough to float some cars, and another foot will sweep even heavy ones off their wheels, these findings are not surprising.

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