Anybody that lived through Irma knows the devastating psychological impact of living through a flood.
But a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists says the long-term economic impact could be equally hard to take. And Florida can expect to bear the brunt of it.
The study matched sea level projections with real estate values from the website Zillow and found more than 300,000 U.S. homes will see chronic flooding within the next 30 years.
In Florida alone, some 64,000 homes are expected to experience chronic flooding by the year 2045 -- 471 homes will face daily “inundation” in Jacksonville Beach, 292 homes in St. Augustine.
But by the year 2100, that number jumps, to 1,500 homes in Jax Beach, 6,600 homes in St. Augustine and more than 5,100 homes Ponte Vedra -- one-third of that community’s homes.
The report says chronic daily flooding will impact 1 million Florida homes by 2100, with a taxable value of roughly $5 billion.
Duval County Property Appraiser Jerry Holland says those impacts are yet to be felt locally. Despite dire projections, waterfront property remains the city’s most desirable.
“People are still optimistic thinking, even when there’s a storm or rising water, that won’t happen again in the near future,” Holland said. “Or the rising water is something they are thinking about 10, 20, 30 years from now. So the market really has not reflected any concerns at this point. Our highest values in Duval County are waterfront properties, and ... the values keep going up.”
The study’s authors emphasize that the impacts will be felt before the 30-year life of most mortgages, and they advise prospective homebuyers to know their risks before buying coastal homes.