Take a drive along the New Jersey coast and you’ll of course see a lot of rebuilding and renovating taking place, but something else you’ll see are homes being lifted so they sit higher off the ground. House raising in NJ has been big business since Hurricane Sandy, and for obvious reasons. Being at a higher elevation means lower flood insurance premiums, and it also means being in a safer position when storms like Hurricane Sandy strike.
The key word in that sentence is “when.” You see, while Hurricane Sandy was a storm of historic proportions, it is unlikely that it will remain an anomaly. The reason is simple:
It’s already well documented that global warming contributed to the impact of Sandy when it hit the coast.
“The most damaging aspect of the storm was the massive storm surge that struck the coastline from Massachusetts to Maryland. Global warming-related sea level rise gave the surge a higher launching pad than it would have had a century ago, making it more damaging than it otherwise would have been,” According to Climatecentral.org. “This is only going to get worse as sea level rise continues as a result of warming ocean waters and melting polar ice caps and glaciers.”
These predictions of greater floods in the future are one of the reasons why people are investing in house lifting NJ now, while grants and insurance funding are available. Most firms specializing in NJ house raising are set up to assist people to securing funding to help offset the costs of the lift, making the procedure a popular one the last year or two.
It’s not out of the question that future storms will have a comparable intensity to Hurricane Sandy. Conditions were perfect for the storm to form the way it did, but the New York Times notes that those conditions are likely to repeat with greater frequency in the future.
“A likely contributor to the intensity of Sandy,” the times reported just after the storm, “was that surface temperatures in the western Atlantic Ocean were remarkably high just ahead of the storm — in places, about five degrees Fahrenheit higher than normal for this time of year. In fact, part of the ocean was warmer than it would normally be in September, when accumulated summer heat tends to peak.”
In other words, with global warming trends pushing increased ocean temperatures, conditions will again be right for such a storm sooner rather than later. No wonder so many homeowners along the New Jersey coast are looking towards house lifting as a way to better protect themselves from future storms. A modest investment now – the cost of a lift is usually less than people expect – could end up saving countless more dollars later. Maybe even a person’s home.
People continue to debate whether or not global warming is man made, but the truth is, for those living at the coast the answer to that question doesn’t matter. Rising global temperatures are a fact, regardless of their cause, making it incumbent upon people to prepare for the future.