- Associated Press - Thursday, December 24, 2015

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The city of Charleston has come up with a report on how rising sea levels might affect the area.

The report comes as the city has faced increased flooding from rainstorms, The Post and Courier of Charleston (https://bit.ly/1kip3vW) reported. October storms put large parts of Charleston under water. Street flooding is common when heavy rains hit the city.

Mayor Joe Riley submitted a report called “Sea Level Rise Strategy,” to city council this week.

Riley says the city averaged two days of tidal flooding annually during the 1970s. Riley says in 30 more years, that total could reach 180 times annually.

The report recommends that the city buy low-lying, frequently flooded property.

It also recommends zoning regulations to encourage development that negates or minimizes the effects of rising sea levels.

The report also recommends raising roadbeds and protecting the shoreline, using seawalls in critical areas. Increasing the restoration of wetlands could reduce the dangers of tidal flooding.

The report also recommended improving flood rescue equipment and training for emergency responders.

Scientists consider Charleston one of the most endangered cities on the East Coast from rising oceans, projected to increase up to 6 feet by the end of the century. Charleston Harbor already is 1 foot higher than it was at the beginning of the last century.

Dana Beach, executive director of the Coastal Conservation League, said the report is encouraging. But Beach said the report fails to estimate the cost of the steps to protect the area or how to pay for those efforts.

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Information from: The Post and Courier, https://www.postandcourier.com


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