Homes and buildings are collapsing into the ocean and authorities have issued warnings for people to leave some areas as Tropical Cyclone Nicole pushes a huge volume of ocean water onto Florida’s southeast coast.
A video from Volusia County shows houses collapsing, reduced to rubble, as Nicole’s waves erode the shore. Another recording shows the county beach safety office collapsing due to rising waters.
“Right now, ground zero is here,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood told the police affiliate. CNN WESH-TV on Wednesday (9), when Nicole made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane.
There are three main factors that contribute to the dangerous situation of the coast.
Cyclone Nicole, which peaked at 1.8 meters on Thursday morning, is significant given its magnitude as it approached Florida on Wednesday with tropical storm-force winds. stretching over 800 kilometers.
This swell made landfall at exceptionally high tides associated with this week’s full moon. And behind it all, sea levels in this part of Florida have risen by more than a foot in the last 100 years, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and most of that rise has occurred in last three decades.
Scientists and researchers have long warned that rising sea levels are causing more erosion and flooding due to high tides, especially during extreme coastal storms. This is putting even more pressure on the dikes, which are supposed to protect coastal communities from high waves and rising water levels.
Brian McNoldy, a research associate at the University of Miami School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, explained to CNN that rising sea levels gradually increase pressure on the dikes. “More and more of them are gradually, completely submerged in salt water, which concrete doesn’t like.”
McNoldy also pointed out that these walls are aging and that the back-to-back nature of storms is making the dikes more vulnerable. Just six weeks ago, Hurricane Ian’s storm eroded parts of Florida’s east coast.
“You don’t need a strong storm, just high or choppy tides that drag or put extra stress on the walls,” he said. “By having these two storms six weeks apart, if you don’t give yourself time to repair or restock, each storm definitely leaves its mark.”
Many coastal communities in the United States regularly experience tidal flooding. Rising sea levels, caused by rising water temperatures and melting glaciers and ice sheets, increase the dangers coastal residents are exposed to.
NOAA reported in 2019 that by 2050, the US will experience 25 to 75 days of high tide flooding. In addition, hurricane storms are increasing, and homes and other critical infrastructure are now exposed to salt water and erosion compared to a few decades ago.
Source: CNN Brasil
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