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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Map Shows San Francisco Waterfront At Risk of Severe Flooding

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 9:51 AM

  • Amanda Hickman/OpenStreetMap

We’ve known for a while that California is slowly sinking into the ocean, and, locally, we’ve heard a lot of speculation about what this means for San Francisco. One scenario, put forth by the Obama administration last year, has SFO’s runways potentially underwater by 2050. Another scenario, introduced last month, is that the bay could rise 16 to 55 inches by 2100, with torrential storms and “king tides” overwhelming infrastructure that’s not designed to withstand flooding. (And consider this your friendly reminder that climate change is really happening.)

Now, a major new report from the San Francisco Public Press offers one of the most comprehensive and alarming views yet of what the future could hold for our fair city. Namely: A waterfront that’s more water than land.

As the report shows, 27 commercial and residential developments are at risk of flooding if sea levels continue to rise. Among the structures most vulnerable: the new Golden State Warriors stadium, planned campuses for Google and Facebook, the ferry terminal, Treasure Island, Yerba Buena Island, Hunters Point Shipyard, Candlestick Point, SFSU's planned satellite campus at Hunters Point Shipyard, the San Leandro shoreline, and Jack London Square in Oakland. In total, nearly $21 billion in new development is endangered.

As SF Weekly noted last month, there’s no unified regional plan to manage potential flooding, so it’s basically every city for itself in the event of a catastrophic Waterworld situation.

What's being done to combat rising sea levels? In 2014, Governor Jerry Brown allocated $2.5 million for California’s Climate Resilience Account, which will conduct planning and policy efforts around rising sea levels. Assemblyman Rich Gordon has also introduced Assembly Bill 2516, which will mandate a statewide database of preparedness efforts online. So nobody panic, right?

Check out this map that shows where waters will rise in the bay. 

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Jeremy Lybarger


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