South Bethany Hears Presentation on Sea Level Rise - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

South Bethany Hears Presentation on Sea Level Rise

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South Bethany questioned Dr. Mohan after the presentation (Source: WBOC) South Bethany questioned Dr. Mohan after the presentation (Source: WBOC)
Data on the flooding in the next 50 years in South Bethany (Source: Anchor QEA, LLC) Data on the flooding in the next 50 years in South Bethany (Source: Anchor QEA, LLC)

SOUTH BETHANY, Del.- In a community like South Bethany, sea level rise is huge concern, according to town councilman George Junkin.

"The lowest elevation in South Bethany is one-and-a-half feet above sea level," he said. "So sea level doesn't have to rise very much before the average tide is in your yard." 

To address these concerns, the town hired a firm to examine the level of risk in town, due to anticipated sea level rise over the next 50 years. On Thursday afternoon, Dr. Ram Mohan presented the findings to the council. 

"It's not something to be alarmed about immediately," said Mohan at the meeting. "But it definitely should be planned for." 

Mohan said there were various pieces of infrastructure in South Bethany that were vulnerable to flooding over the next half-century. In order to predict these possible risks, the firm set the expected sea level rise at a low point of .7 feet and a high point of 1.7 feet. 

Mohan said that infrastructure at the top of the prioritization risk included transportation (streets), electrical/power (ground-mounted transformers), drinking water systems, sanitary sewer systems, and bulkheads. 

In the end Mohan offered four recommendations: 

  • Allow bulkheads to be raised by property owners in areas showing high vulnerability to SLR

  • Install backflow preventers on Town stormwater outfalls

  • Raise streets levels in areas showing high vulnerability to SLR

  • Raise ground-mounted transformers that are deemed vulnerable. 

No action was taken at the meeting, but Junkin said that the bulkheads should be at the top of the list. 

"There are things that we can do to put ourselves in better position for when the sea level does rise," he said. "So I don't expect any action today on any of the suggestions. But I would hope that in the near future, we could get action on allowing homeowners to raise their bulkheads." 

To see the entire presentation, visit here

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