If last year was any guide, storms are getting increasingly intense, dangerous and destructive.
Some 16 separate weather disasters in 2017 caused more than $300 billion in economic losses, including damage to both commercial and residential real estate, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. That is a new annual record.
This year started with a bang as well. Back-to-back nor'easters slammed into the New England coast. The powerful storms sent water flooding in to Boston's historic Seaport District. It was what city planners had predicted, just not yet.
"In Boston, we've spent a lot of time thinking that these impacts are 20, 30 years down the road," said Deanna Moran, director of environmental planning at Boston's Conservation Law Foundation. "The last couple of nor'easters that we've had have made it very clear that these storms are here now. They're happening more frequently. They're more severe."
Moran studies the impact of climate change on Boston real estate, especially all the new development going on at the water's edge. The water near Boston is warming more quickly than in any part of the U.S., save Alaska, due to Boston's proximity to the Gulf of Maine, which is the fastest warming body of water on earth, according to NOAA.
"Boston is ahead of the curve in that we've been planning for these impacts, pre-disaster, but I wouldn't say that we're ahead of the curve in terms of actually doing things on the ground," Moran added.