RALEIGH, North Carolina — People worried about rising sea levels in North Carolina have found relief in a new forecast.
Local residents and officials expressed relief Wednesday at a meeting of the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission, The News & Observer of Raleigh (http://bit.ly/1DYgfhq) reported.
The higher sea level would result in more frequent flooding and more severe storm-surge damage from hurricanes and nor'easters.
The meeting was the first public comment session since a revised estimate that sea levels are likely to rise between 6 and 8 inches in North Carolina over the next 30 years.
That's a much different picture than a report in 2010 by the same panel that said sea levels could increase more than 3 feet by 2100.
Beach developers and politicians had worried that the state would impose sharp restrictions because of that forecast. But state lawmakers in 2012 ordered agencies to ignore the 39 inch increase forecast.
The legislature told the commission to come up with a new official state forecast, and also to study the environmental and economic advantages and disadvantages of implementing state policies on sea-level rise
"Trying to predict sea-level rise on a 100-year basis was specious at best," said Dare County Commissioner Wally Overman. "Certainly a 30-year assessment is clearly a better option."
Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com