Report: Sandy Was A Wake-Up Call We Need to Answer

According to an article from Delaware Online, a new Army Corps of Engineers report cautions coastal residents and state and local leaders to think carefully about their approach to shoreline development.

It calls for better land use planning, especially in flood-prone areas and dunes made of natural materials, among other recommendations.

“The report provides a framework for communities that will arm them for the reality of future extreme weather,” Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works, told Delaware Online.

The report warns that if this rethink doesn’t happen, the next big storm will be as bad as or worse than Hurricane Sandy.

“Hurricane Sandy brought to light the reality that coastal storms are intensifying and that seal level change and climate change will only heighten the vulnerability of coastal communities,” said Brig. Gen. Kent D. Savre, commanding general of the corps’ North Atlantic Division, in the article.

An excerpt from the article discusses the costs of coastal planning:

“The report recommends communities identify their acceptable level of risk and plan for the long term. Depending on the approach, costs are potentially huge. Construction of storm surge barriers to protect flood-prone areas of the Christina River and Indian River Inlet, the Corps report estimated, would cost a combined $2.57 billion to construct, or an average annual cost of about $187 million. The barrier along the river would need to be about 1,250 feet long and 55 feet above the lowest water level, while the inlet height would have to be 800 feet long and more than 86 feet above the low water benchmark. All along the coast, huge numbers of homes and public resources are at risk.”

Though some people disagree with the report’s predictions based on climate change and rising sea levels, the article points out that the report “is an important part of the public record that should drive meaningful discussion that leads toward solutions.”

 

For more information, see the original article here: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/local/2015/01/31/report-sandy-wake-call-better-heed/22649857/