“Water is coming”: Florida Keys faces harsh realities as the ocean rises | Florida

LOng famous for literary figures such as spectacular fishing, vast coral reefs and Ernest Hemingway Florida Keys now admits a previously unthinkable reality. It is overwhelmed by rising sea levels and not all homes can be saved.

After a harsh 7 hours Monday public meetingOfficials, held in the city of Malason, with a proper name, agreed to proceed with a plan to elevate roads across the key to prevent permanent floods, but lack the funds to do so. I admit.

A series of coral reef islands from the southern tip of Florida are at the forefront of the climate crisis, forcing enviable choices in sunny and idyllic locations.Life of Keys Residents – A Mix of Wealthy and Older Whites 1 in 4 Those who are Hispanic or Latino and suffer from poverty are faced with being upset.

A car will pass through a sea-flooded street in Keirago in October 2019. Photo: Joe Raidle / Getty Images

If you can’t find the money, the key will be one of the first places in the United States, and certainly not the last. Inform residents that a particular area needs to surrender to the next tide.

“Water is coming and we can’t stop it,” said Michelle Coldillon, mayor of Monroe County, including Keys. “Some homes need to be elevated and some need to be bought. It’s very difficult to have these conversations with homeowners because it’s where they live. It can be emotional. “

According to University of Miami geographer Harold Wanles, when people can’t get a mortgage or insurance for a flooded home, the key isn’t a comfortable place to live long before it’s completely underwater. “People don’t have a concept of what sea level rise does to them. They can’t imagine it,” he said.

On Monday, the county will spend $ 1.8 billion over the next 25 years to raise 150 miles of Keys roads, combining new drainage channels, pumping stations and vegetation to prevent roads from being flooded with seawater. We announced the details of the deployment plan.Raised roads are enthusiastically expected by residents I talked to a car that was ruined by salt water and a meeting about wearing boots to walk towards the front door.

“The roads have been shot, cracked and infiltrated,” said Kimberly Sikola, who lives in Stylite Point, a vulnerable area in Kirago. “I’m looking for some kind of relief.”

Another resident, Robert Schaller of Twin Lakes, tweeted “I should have done my due diligence” when buying his home last year in an area further into the planning process. “I literally stand on the balcony and watch the water rise from the street,” he said. “It comes through the pavement.”

However, Monroe County’s budget does not cover all road hikes and bulk home purchases, and the appeal to Florida legislators to impose new taxes to cover these increasing costs. was denied. Further costs will build up as the county works on how and who pays to prevent critical infrastructure such as sewers, substations and people’s homes from flooding along the roads.

“If we can’t raise additional funding, we need to consider our priorities,” said Ronda Haag, Chief Resilience Officer in Monroe County.

“For example, if people aren’t paying to raise the garden, should we spend money to raise the road? We’re paving the way here. We’re about this We are ahead of anyone in that we have to think. “

A canal house that is frequently flooded in Kirago on Mondays.
A canal house that is frequently flooded in Kirago on Mondays. Photo: Sole Martinez / Guardian

Pancake Flatkey is on the verge of rising sea levels and is accelerating upwards as Greenland’s vast ice sheet, as scientists from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) told County Commissioners at a meeting on Monday. doing. Antarctica is melting.. Human-induced global heating means that sea level will rise another 17 inches by 2040. Intermediate Noaa projection used by the county..

To exacerbate this problem, the island’s porous limestone causes rising seawater to foam from below. In other words, on a clear day, high tides turn roads into ponds and require global heating. Spur a fierce hurricane It can occasionally dig into the archipelago.

“The Florida Keys are one of the most vulnerable to floods in North America,” said Kristina Hill, an environmental planner at the University of California, Berkeley, and the islands face increased road and pipe maintenance costs and increased pollution leaks. I warned that I would. Harmful algae bloom.

When the streets of Kirago are flooded with seawater in October 2019, you will see a sign that says
When the streets of Kirago are flooded with seawater in October 2019, you will see a sign that says “Salt Water No Wake”. Photo: Joe Raidle / Getty Images

“If we don’t change our strategy, some of the keys will only be accessible by boat,” said Hill, who could have to rely on floating structures and navigable canals for the islands to survive. He added that he has sex. “The islands gradually disappear into higher waters, leaving behind a dilapidated landscape of leaky underground storage tanks, old pipes, and flooded road segments to pollute the water.”

The threat faced by Key is shrugged by some of the wealthy retirees who see the situation in a particular fatalism, but others in this Republican voting fortress openly question science.Eddie Martinez, one of the counties Five elected membersDisputed Noaa scientist William Sweet about Monday’s forecast of sea level rise.

So far, sea level rise has been “a really empty number,” Martinez told Sweet. “You’re a little more on this CO2 side, I’m on the actual measurement side,” said another commissioner, David Rice, “the general prediction is probably made with a crystal ball. It’s best, “he said, speculating that global temperatures could change after several volcanic eruptions.

“Some people don’t want to sell because they like it, others want to go out as much as they can, and others completely deny it, called a troublemaker, who is pushing down the value of their assets by talking about it.” George said. Smith, a retiree who moved to Keirargo 10 years ago for a quiet and slow-paced lifestyle. In 2019, his neighborhood was partially submerged for 90 days.

View of the sea from Keirago's local park, which is frequently flooded when the water level rises.
View of the sea from Keirago’s local park, which is frequently flooded when the water level rises. Photo: Sole Martinez / Guardian

This time, the nature of the key has changed. The islands still have pockets of poverty, but the influx of wealthy villa owners is sprout new properties around Smith. “I used to be pretty rough and fallen. I saw some fights on Saturday night,” he said. “Now it looks like everyone has just come from a cosmetologist.”

Other new realities are more painstaking. Smith has to wash his car continuously to get rid of salt water and pay trucks to drop a pile of crushed rock around his property as a cushioning against invading tides. .. Smith does not classify himself as particularly wealthy, but these protections go beyond the means of low-income Keys residents, many of whom live in exposed mobile homes scattered across the island. I will.

Smith fears that the county will demand that poor residents cut money for roads, rather than taxing tourists flocking to Keys. “We feel held hostage,” he said. “I’m saddened by what’s to come and the loss of a great community.”

However, the mayor categorically claims that keys can be stored even if it is not clear how they are currently stored. “We know we live in paradise and we want to keep it that way,” said Coldillon.

“Water is coming”: Florida Keys faces harsh realities as the ocean rises | Florida

Source link “Water is coming”: Florida Keys faces harsh realities as the ocean rises | Florida

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