Residents of Imperial Beach can now see into the future… sort of.
Scientists and mapmakers at Climate Central — an independent, nonprofit research organization — have created a first-of-its-kind set of interactive maps that allow users to choose a location and dial up sea level rise to see what areas might be submerged. Take a look.
There is a lot here and you won’t exhaust it in five minutes. One set of maps allows you to see income and other demographic factors, or check which ZIP code has the most people exposed to higher sea levels, or look at Imperial Beach 91932 specifically.
Of course the ocean isn’t a still water bathtub and the worst flooding is usually because of storms and extra high tides.
And IB can expect to see many more such incidents of extreme high sea level, research says. One California model in the National Research Council 2012 paper on West Coast sea level rise estimates that extreme high sea conditions that occur on average 9 hours per decade now could rise to 250 hours per decade by mid-century.
For a different perspective on flooding in the region, we’re also posting the flood maps of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Areas in purple are those where property owners are required to carry flood insurance.