FLORIDA, USA — Around a third of Florida's roads, critical infrastructure and facilities – from hospitals to wastewater treatment plants – are currently at risk of flooding, a new report from the non-profit First Street Foundation discovered.
The findings are part of a larger look at the risk every mile of road and major infrastructure faces over the next 30 years in almost all U.S. counties. The risk of homes and commercial properties flooding is also examined.
The general consensus is that the country is not properly prepared.
"As we saw following the devastation of Hurricane Ida, our nation’s infrastructure is not built to a standard that protects against the level of flood risk we face today, let alone how those risks will grow over the next 30 years as the climate changes," said Matthew Eby, Founder and Executive Director of First Street Foundation.
He continues, "This report highlights the cities and counties whose vital infrastructure are most at risk today, and will help inform where investment dollars should flow in order to best mitigate against that risk."
Florida was one of four states that had 17 of the top 20 most at-risk counties in the U.S.
The most at-risk county in the sunshine state was Monroe County. More than 31,500 homes – which accounts for nearly 98.5 percent of residential properties in the region – are currently at risk of flooding. More than 1,200 miles of roads are also at risk of becoming flooded to the point where they are impassable.
No Tampa Bay area counties cracked the top 10. However, Manatee and Pinellas counties were projected to be some of the most at-risk areas over the next 30 years.
By 2051, Manatee County will see nearly 15 percent more homes and 10 percent more critical facilities at risk of flooding. Pinellas County will see nearly 9 percent more homes and critical facilities at risk of flooding.
In total, the state may see nearly 380,000 more homes and 11,353 more miles of roads become inundated with water over the next 30 years.