Rising sea poses more urgent risk to downtown Olympia than previously thought – Olympian

If it poses a threat to Olympia, it will pose a threat to Port Townsend, Lower Hadlock, Port Angeles, and more. National Geographic’s worse case, which would be the complete melting of the Greenland Ice Cap, would raise sea levels 23 feet or more, later in this century. Planning must start now for possible worse case scenarios, and land use along shoreline needs to be flexible and impermanent. Some of this will be driven by rising insurance costs. The insurance companies are often great environmental supporters, as they drive the costs of what will be supported in low lying areas.

As sea levels continue to rise, so does the threat of flooding in downtown Olympia. The threat might be more urgent than the city previously believed. “We’re suggesting a more-heightened sense of urgency in our response,” said Andy Haub, water resources director for the city’s public works department. “The current risk is higher for downtown flooding than previously thought.” The potential worst-case scenario could leave much of downtown under water, especially areas bordering West Bay and Capitol Lake. Andy Hobbs reports. (Olympian)


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