Report: Coastal flooding remains NC's greatest extreme weather threat
Posted November 18, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina is generally prepared to handle increasing threat levels from extreme weather, although the state isn't as ready to deal with extreme coastal flooding, according to a report released Wednesday by the States at Risk Project.
The collaborative report produced by ICF International and Climate Central shows how states across the country are preparing for increasing risks posed by changing levels of extreme weather, including threats from extreme heat, drought, wildfires, inland flooding and coastal flooding.
The Tar Heel State scored a B+ overall in a scale that is relative to other states and relative to the magnitude of the climate threats themselves.
North Carolina has relatively low climate threat levels, the report said, and the state has taken "strong to extensive" action to address its current climate risks. However, the state has taken no action to improve its climate resilience.
With regard to coastal flooding, the state's biggest extreme weather threat, North Carolina earned a C grade. The report said North Carolina is ahead of most states in preparing for current flooding risks through its Enhanced Hazard Mitigation Plan and Emergency Operations Plan.
Despite that, the report said that North Carolina has taken only some action on understanding its future coastal flooding risks.
According to the report, North Carolina has more than 120,000 people at risk of a 100-year coastal flood. By 2050, an additional 45,000 people could be at risk.
Among the 22 coastal states assessed, North Carolina has an above average area in its 100-year coastal floodplain, which is more than 2,000 square miles, the report said.
Aside from a C in coastal flooding preparedness, North Carolina scored a B+ in extreme heat, B+ in drought, A- in wildfire and B- in inland flooding preparedness.