Flooding in New York State

Ninety percent of New York State’s population resides in waterfront communities --along lakes, riverines, streams, or the ocean. What does that mean for New Yorkers? 

Over the last 10 years, every county in New York State has been impacted by severe storms and flooding, tropical storms, or hurricanes—in this same period, 50 percent of New York’s counties have had more than 5 disaster declarations. The major federal disaster declarations for these counties have totaled $16.6 billion in federal aid for recovery efforts. 

States generally only recuperate one-third to one-half of the costs of severe storms, meaning that NYS has lost at least $26 billion to flooding in the past decade. The costs of not being prepared for future storm surge and rain events are massive and increasing: AECOM estimates that not addressing coastal storm and flood event related events will cost New York State $55 billion in the next decade.  

This summer, from Erie to Staten Island, flash floods closed highways and roadways, infiltrated homes and businesses, and caused disruptions to our lives and economies.

This problem is predicted to grow. By 2045, more than $8.5 billion of the State’s residential properties (based on today’s values) will be at risk of chronic flooding. By the turn of the century, that amount will increase to  $98 billion, leaving $1.9 Billion of annual property tax revenue in jeopardy. This loss of tax dollars will mean less money for health care, schools, roads, and parks.

Preparedness can prevent these escalating losses. To address flooding, New York State needs to create a Resilient Infrastructure Fund that will give communities the funding to address flooding and other climate challenges. Are you interested in working with Rebuild on this issue?  Let us know! Check out Rebuild’s research on flooding in New York State here>>