America's Preparedness Report Card 2015

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Rhode Island Coastal Flooding

Rhode Island faces an average level of threat from coastal flooding; it has done less than the average state to address its current risks and to understand projected future risks, but more than the average state to plan for them and implement adaptation strategies to address these future coastal flooding risks.



For more information on how prepared Rhode Island is for its growing coastal flooding threat, read the detailed state summary.


Is Rhode Island Taking Action

  • A Resilient Rhode Island: Being Practical About Climate Change provides information about climate change-related coastal flooding (among other threats) as well as potential adaptation strategies, including an implementation plan
  • SafeWaterRI gives a vulnerability score for each of the water utilities under various hazards, including sea level rise and coastal flooding
  • The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Program’s policy is to accommodate a projected 3 to 5 foot rise in sea level by 2100 in the siting, design, and implementation of public and private coastal activities. The state building code has been updated to reflect this policy

Did you know...

  • Currently, Rhode Island has 25,000 people at risk of a 100-year coastal flood
  • By 2050, Rhode Island’s coastal flood risk is projected to increase by approximately 30 percent, putting an additional 8,000 people in the 100-year coastal floodplain
  • The highest observed flood level at Newport, RI, was 9 feet above the local high tide line (Mean Higher High Water, MHHW). At this flood level, more than $8 billion worth of property and 150 hazardous waste sites in the state are at risk of coastal flooding