Newport Beach Learns of Severe Flood Risk Thanks to UC Irvine Research

At least the parking has eased up Fashion Island.
At least the parking has eased up Fashion Island.
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Climate change could make Newport Beach a whole lot soggier, according to UC Irvine researchers.

UCI's FloodRISE is looking at Newport Beach and Tijuana, because both are built on coastal estuaries, both have waterways meeting the ocean and both face threats of severe flooding, according to project leader professor Brett Sanders.

"We know that flood damages are growing at an alarming rate around the world and we know that these damages are increasingly impacting urban areas," Sanders told Video News West.

The goal is not to spread gloom and doom about rising sea levels caused by climate change but to use the information being collected to find solutions to otherwise underwater futures.

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Researchers are using a small airplane to fly over the communities with a laser scanner to create 3-D models of the areas. The idea is to figure out which areas of the cities will suffer the most/least damage with coastal flooding, which is forecast to become more severe.

City planners and property owners "have a great capacity to mitigate damage" depending on "the extent to which people believe there is a risk that needs to be addressed," explained Richard Matthew, a project partner and UCI Planning, Policy and Design professor, to Video News West.

Email: Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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