With Nowhere to Hide from Rising Seas, Boston Prepares for a Wetter Future

Aug 6, 2019

Boston dodged a disaster in 2012. After Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of New Jersey and New York, the superstorm hit Boston near low tide, causing minimal damage. If Sandy had arrived four hours earlier, many Bostonians would have been ankle to hip deep in seawater.

Across the globe, sea levels are rising, delivering bigger storm surges and higher tides to coastal cities. In Boston, the most persistent reminder comes in the form of regular “nuisance” flooding — when seawater spills onto roads and sidewalks during high tides. Those nuisance events are harbingers of a wetter future, when extreme high tides are predicted to become a daily occurrence.

Main Photo: Bostonians are getting used to flooding. Morrissey Boulevard (shown), near the campus of University of Massachusetts Boston, gets hit several times a year during high tides. Credits DAVID L. RYAN/BOSTON GLOBE/GETTY IMAGES