Rising seas lead to chronic flooding in Carolina Beach
Credit: MTI/Unsplash

Rising seas lead to chronic flooding in Carolina Beach

In Carolina Beach, N.C., high tides and outdated infrastructure contribute to regular flooding, disrupting life in this coastal community.

Brady Dennis, Niko Kommenda, and Emily Wright report for The Washington Post.


In short:

  • Coastal flooding in Carolina Beach, N.C., is becoming more frequent due to rising sea levels.
  • The town's stormwater infrastructure, built generations ago, is now often submerged by high tides.
  • Researchers have documented flooding on Canal Drive on 60 days over the past year, far exceeding federal projections.

Key quote:

“The higher tides are lingering more often. When we do have an event, it’s multiple days.”

— Jeremy Hardison, planning and development director for Carolina Beach

Why this matters:

Rising sea levels and more frequent flooding threaten infrastructure and daily life in coastal communities. This persistent problem inconveniences daily life and raises significant environmental and health concerns. The flooding can contaminate local waterways with pollutants, posing risks to marine life and the health of beachgoers. The infrastructure, often overwhelmed by the rising waters, struggles to cope, exacerbating the situation.

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