(TNS) – On his laptop computer, Grover Fugate, director of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, opens up a 3D map of the potential flooding damage to buildings on Conimicut Point in Warwick if a storm like Hurricane Carol in 1954 were to strike again.
The buildings are color-coded in shades starting with green, depicting no impact from the 15-foot surge of water that storm winds would drive up Narragansett Bay, through yellow, orange and finally red, a near-total or total loss.
The most vulnerable houses on the narrow, triangular point that juts into the Bay are colored red, but the more sheltered shoreline neighborhoods to the north and south fare better, with swathes of yellow and only scattered dabs of orange.
Then, as Malcolm Spaulding, a professor emeritus of ocean engineering at the University of Rhode Island, looks on, Fugate clicks to the next slide in his presentation, showing a map of the same neighborhoods in the event of the same type of 100-year storm. But this one also takes into account seven feet of sea level rise, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts could occur by the end of this century.
In the new map, dozens of structures are

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