Though major storm events like Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy receive the lion’s share of media attention for the losses they inflict, new FloodRISE research demonstrates that smaller, more frequent nuisance flooding events can be just as costly to coastal communities. In a new paper published by Earth’s Future, FloodRISE researchers Hamed Moftakhari, Amir AghaKouchak, Brett Sanders, and Richard Matthew demonstrate how quickly costs from short-term, non-extreme events can add up. Using a cumulative hazard index, the authors examine the future risk of flooding events in 11 U.S. coastal cities alongside anticipated property impacts. They found that five of the cities (San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, New York, and Washington D.C.) had estimated impacts that were at least as severe, if not more so, than those anticipated from a major storm. The researchers hope that these findings will enable local leaders to direct and prioritize resources in targeted ways that mitigate losses from extreme events and nuisance flooding over time.

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