One Quarter Of Critical US Infrastructure At Risk Of Failure Due To Flooding

As a massive investment to repair roads and adapt to climate change faces an uncertain fate in Congress, a new report finds much of the country’s infrastructure is already at risk of being shut down by flooding. And as the planet heats up, the threat is expected to grow.

Today, one-in-four pieces of all critical infrastructure in the US — including police and fire stations, hospitals, airports and wastewater treatment facilities — face substantial risk of being rendered inoperable by flooding, according to a new report released today by the First Street Foundation, a nonprofit research and technology group that assesses the threat posed by flooding across the country.


The report also found nearly 2 million miles of road — 23% of US roadways — are already at risk of becoming impassable due to flooding.

To provide what First Street says is the fullest picture to date of community-level flood vulnerability, the researchers examined five categories across the Lower 48 and the District of Columbia: Critical infrastructure; social infrastructure, including museums, government buildings and schools; roads; commercial properties; and residential properties.

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