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What Impact Will The Rise of Superstorms, Sea Levels Have On The Texas Coast?

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
A helicopter view of Hurricane Harvey's aftermath

Nearly 2.5 million properties will be at risk of chronic flooding by the end of the century, according to a new analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

That's a current valuation of over $1 trillion in commercial and residential real estate nationwide.

By comparison, the total cost of damage caused by one storm – Hurricane Harvey – is estimated at $125 billion. Last year, the cumulative cost of the 16 separate weather events in the U.S. was more than $306 billion.

The PBS NOVA documentary "Rise of the Superstorms" examines the impact of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which devastated parts of Texas, Florida and the Caribbean in summer 2017.

How did these natural events change peoples' lives? How prepared are residents in the area for this hurricane season?

In what ways are sea levels influencing patterns of flooding throughout the United States? What are the implications of climate change on practical matters like insurance and property values? 

What should coastal communities consider going forward, in light of the rise of superstorms and ever-rising sea levels? 


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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.