The 100 Year Storm – Coming to You 3 Times this Decade

For this week’s Fall Through the Cracks Friday we turn to a great article which appeared on Insurance Journal’s website this week. According to the article, and research conducted by MIT and Princeton, those fabled ‘100 year storms’ that are held as epic events are actually much more frequent than once per century. In fact, these 100 year events can actually occur every 3 to 20 years!

From the article:

Today, a “100-year storm” means a surge flood of about two meters, on average, in New York. Roughly every 500 years, the region experiences towering, three-meter-high surge floods. Both scenarios, Lin notes, would easily top Manhattan’s seawalls, which stand 1.5 meters high.

But with added greenhouse gas emissions, the models found that a two-meter surge flood would instead occur once every three to 20 years; a three-meter flood would occur every 25 to 240 years.

“The highest [surge flood] was 3.2 meters, and this happened in 1821,” Lin says. “That’s the highest water level observed in New York City’s history, which is like a present 500-year event.”

Carol Friedland, an assistant professor of construction management and industrial engineering at Louisiana State University, said she sees the group’s results as a useful tool to inform coastal design — particularly as most buildings are designed with a 60 to 120-year “usable lifespan.”

Check out the entire article at InsuranceJournal.com.

Enjoy the upcoming weekend!