If Boston were hit by a storm surge half the height of the one that hit Manhattan

Kiss every single bit of Boston that sits on landfill from the past 300 years goodbye: Back Bay, the South End, East Boston, half of South Boston, large swaths of Dorchester. See this flood map, which assumes a 5-foot storm surge on top of water levels 2.5 feet higher than today's levels.

So how about some giant barriers stretched across the harbor?

Via Rich Beaubien.



Free tagging: 


Mitt Says

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Everything will be fine. The private sector will step in and take care of it,if we just release them from their chains of regulation. Global Warming? Don't believe it. I felt many a cool breeze on the patio of my $8 million lakeside home in New Hampshire.


This is what UH is going to be like for the next four years, isn't it.


Mitt will fall in the dustbin of history and we'll find other jerks to pillory.


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Vegas would have to be wrong and I believe they have Obama having a 63% chance of winning. And those are the guys who bet real money.

The best analogy

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is the Patriots being up by 3 in the 4th quarter, with the ball and 2 min left to go on the visitor 40 yard line.

Maybe that's not such a great analogy this year, but statistics don't lie. We win that game 85+% of the time.


fivethirtyeight.com, which uses cutting edge statistical modeling to aggregate polling information to predict the outcome of the election (and was dead on in 2008) has the percentage chance of an Obama win up to 84% in the latest polls.

Actually Pi

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I don't drink the Kool-aid of either major party,unlike the trolls at Boston.com or the Herald. I just wanted to throw a pithy comment out there. I'm sure Mitt would support some sort of multi-billion dollar barrier if,say,Bechtel or Halliburton built it with tax dollars. I'd just rather try to avoid rising sea levels in the first place,and Romney ain't buying the science. I'm voting 3rd party. I just wished it meant something.

Now Overlay

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A map of Boston circa 1780.

Pretty much all of Boston proper is fill, around the original islands and peninsula. I'd be fine where I am, but I wouldn't have any power for sure, and good luck getting off my "island".

I'm not sure the feasibility of protecting Boston harbor, due to the large stretches of open water.

Coastal flooding

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I've said for years; near the bootiful sea -- it will probably flood, one day. I have very little sympathy for anyone that builds in or near a coastal flood plain. Wake-up, USA and the world!

Since Andrew the insurance industry in this country, finally woke-up. The peasants and politicians NADA!

A very old woman, down in Nantucket, years back, brought this home to me --- way back in the 60s. To paraphrase her, 'If you're stupid enough to build a summer home or cottage along the seashore, then you had better have the land to move it or lose it!'

Sadly, the local politicians, wherever --- have always been the pockets of all developers, from small-time to major in this country. Thus, they would never say NO on local town boards and planning committees or commissions.

If you lived on or near the Jersey Shore and lost everything, don't expect donations or sign-offs from me, EVER!

Who will pay for these giant

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Who will pay for these giant barriers? Certainly you don't expect business to! Think of the lost jobs and the drain on the economy.

Ideologically unsound

Giant barriers are ideologically unsound.

Only government would pay for them. You'd have to levy taxes. Taxes are bad because they make the job creators wallow in ennui. So it's much better to let the city flood. That's why the Dutch are so poor today.

The Dutch have raped their

The Dutch have raped their coastal environment in ways that would be unimaginable here. Think filling in Cape Cod Bay to build suburbs.

Poor example

More like filling in all the wetland areas ... like South Bay ... to get more land.

More like if Cape Cod Bay were a small inlet like South Bay that got ripped wide open almost to Rhode Island by a couple of giant winter storms during a period of sea level rise, and then some of the innundated and eroded land that once was land was poldered and reclaimed.

No, no, they raped it

With their big bulldozer penises. There's no other possible word one could use. Polders are environmental rape babies.

And don't get me started on the dikes. It's sodomy, I tell you.

Boston has already been

Boston has already been victim of much more powerful storms. Manhattan got such a big storm surge because it sits at the top of New York Bight, which funnels water straight in at the island. Boston has no such conditions, so the comparison is erroneous. A hurricane would have to be massively stronger than Sandy to produce such a surge in Boston. Sandy was large in area, but not particularly strong.

Somewhat true

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Massachusetts bay protects us a bit, but we still could get a moderate surge. On a astronomical high tide, you might get that 3-6 foot surge that will make a good number of Bostonian lives miserable.

100 years from now, add the sea level on top of that.

Not somewhat true. Every

Not somewhat true. Every shoreline is different. New York is fundamentally different from Boston. The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world for a reason. It's the geometry of the New York Bight that created the storm surge that New York saw, not the storm. The identical storm hitting Boston in the same way would not have seen any flooding like Manhattan saw. Some of us actually remember hurricanes hitting Boston - no such flooding.

memory of events that never happened

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While I agree that the geography of Boston puts us at less risk from cyclonic-fueled storm surges than the NYC area, I had to point out the silliness of this quote:

Some of us actually remember hurricanes hitting Boston

Unless you were alive in the 18th century, you have never witnessed such an event. All the really big hurricanes affecting Massachusetts in the 20th century were landed (and usually much weakened) by the time their main force was felt by people in this city (and several of those storms still kicked this areas's ass, btw - cf, Hurricane of '38, which never got closer than ~100 miles from Boston).

Sandy wasn't even a hurricane

Sandy wasn't even a hurricane when it made landfall.

Bob - 1992, Cat 2.
Gloria - 1985, High Cat 1.
Carrie - 1972, 90 mph winds at Plymouth.
Donna - 1960, Cat 2/3, 140 mph winds at GBH.

And not that I remember, but 1954, TWO Cat 3 hurricanes.

In none of these were the streets of downtown Boston flooded.


Sandy was much larger than a hurricane, had a category 2 equivalent surge and category 1 winds.

Hurricane implies "tropical" which it ceased to be when it lunched on a noreaster.

You are being very silly with labels that are irrelevant to the scientific magnitude of the storm.

None of these storms direct-hit Boston, either.

Global warming?

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2 huge storms in the 50's (I think days apart), but we're talking global warming after Sandy?

My point?

Obvious. You are in denial. You are not only ignoring the historic record of ocean surge in pre-climate change times, you are also ignoring the fact that sea level rise and a warmer gulf stream and you get more and larger storms threatening higher latitudes.

You should leave the science to the scientists. And the math to those who have the math skills to add up the levels of high tides, storm surges, climate-change driven sea level rise and compare them to height above sea level and make maps.

Or, if you are so sure of your "instincts", please go buy some waterfront property and sit tight when the evacuation orders come in - just like your now deceased think-alikes in Staten Island.


Those astrological high tides are terrible.


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...it's a wise person who rules the stars, it's a fool who's ruled by them. Over and out.

US carbon emissions are

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US carbon emissions are falling. They are now at the level they were in 1992.

Too late.

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Caught in the feedback loop now.