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.