Flooding & Groundwater | New Hampshire Public Radio

Flooding & Groundwater

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The Seacoast will get multiple king tides that top 10 feet in the next few days, and residents can take photos and videos of the tides' effects for an annual state contest that runs Saturday through Tuesday.

This kind of high tide tends to cause low-level flooding in the streets of ocean-facing towns like Hampton, and in the waterfront parks of Great Bay communities like Dover.

NH Forest Rangers / Twitter

A continuación, encuentra las noticias del lunes 28 de septiembre.  

Puedes escucharlas haciendo click en el audio o leerlas.

Una nota: Lo escrito es nuestro guión para nuestras grabaciones. Tenlo en cuenta si ven algunas anotaciones diferentes.

Estado reporta 53 nuevos casos de COVID-19, cuatro de estos tienen menos de 18 años

New Hampshire confirmó 53 [cincuenta y tres] casos más de COVID-19 el domingo. Cuatro de estos son de personas menores a 18 [dieciocho]. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Part of New Hampshire has entered an extreme drought for only the second time in 20 years.

The extreme conditions center on the Dover area and extend in a circle from Great Bay, to near Concord, up to the Lakes Region.

The rest of the state is in severe drought, with moderate conditions in the Upper Valley and Monadnock Valley. 

OC Aerials / facebook.com/OCAerials603

New Hampshire’s drought is not expected to improve any time soon, and officials say it’s continuing to create prime conditions for possible wildfires.

Seventy-two percent of New Hampshire is now in a severe drought, with moderate drought in the southwestern and far northern part of the state. The drought also stretches across New England, with extreme conditions in far northern Maine and on New England’s south coast.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire’s ongoing drought has worsened again, with severe dryness now spreading into Grafton County and escalating impacts to surface water and agriculture.

At a meeting Thursday, officials said nearly the entire state remains in a drought, with the worst of it stretching from the Seacoast into the lower White Mountains.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists says hundreds of coastal Superfund sites – including several in New Hampshire – face new risks of flooding due to climate change.

The analysis looked at federal toxic waste sites within 25 miles of the East and Gulf Coasts, and found that New Jersey, Florida and New York have the most sites at risk of extreme flooding. Many are concentrated along the I-95 corridor. 

CSPAN

To kick off NHPR's new reporting project By Degrees, we're unpacking the basics of how climate change is already affecting life in New Hampshire, and how the state is contributing to and responding to the problem. 

Rachel Cleetus is the policy director for the Union of Concerned Scientists' Climate and Energy Program, based in Massachusetts.

First Street Foundation

A major new study says federal flood maps have far underestimated how many properties in New Hampshire and nationwide are at risk from substantial flooding, now and in the coming decades.

The report, out Monday, comes from a range of academic institutions and the nonprofit First Street Foundation.

State regulators are monitoring how this winter’s low snowpack could affect water supplies in the dry summer months.

The state has between 60 and 75 percent less snow on the ground than average right now. State water division director Tom O’Donovan says that's just one source of the state’s drinking water and other water supplies – in reservoirs, lakes and wells.

Kim Reed / UNH

State officials are using federal money to look at how rising seas will threaten major highways and connecting routes on the Seacoast.

The project, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will build a "vulnerability assessment" for the I-95, Route 1 and Route 1A corridors, and local connector roads, including Routes 101 and 286.

Courtesy Kelly Trinkle

The seasonal attraction called Ice Castles allows visitors to explore a landscape straight out of the movie Frozen. Open for just a few months on a former farm in the White Mountain town of North Woodstock, N.H., the massive ice installations draw adults and kids alike to a world of sub-zero architecture.

But last spring, as the temperatures rose, a neighbor’s basement looked more like the set of Waterworld, prompting a lawsuit against Ice Castles for allegedly failing to control the runoff from its property.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Unusually high king tides on parts of the Seacoast may cause flooding in the next few days.

The colloquial term refers to unusually high tides, over 10 feet on the Seacoast.  A series of those high tides are forecast through Wednesday. This can cause minor flooding on streets that border tidal areas, in towns like Hampton.

On Sunday, the beach town was also hit with rain and gusty winds. The tide inundated the back marsh of Hampton Beach, pushing some low-level flooding onto some streets.

Joanne Glode / Nature Conservancy

New Hampshire’s coastal towns are beginning to think about adapting to climate change. It’ll mean finding new ways to protect critical pieces of infrastructure from rising seas, heavier rains and stronger storms.

NHPR’s Annie Ropeik has this story of the lessons from a major road project in Newmarket that’s one of the first in the state to focus on climate resilience.


Courtesy DOROTHY HEINRICHS | ORANGENH.US

President Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for Grafton County. Last month, severe rains and flash flooding caused significant road damage.

Federal, state and local officials estimate it cost $2.9 million dollars to respond to the flooding.

Ten communities had their infrastructure affected by the storm, including the town of Orange, which had an estimated $900,000 in damages.

“It’s a tremendous difference to our tiny town,” said Dorothy Heinrichs, chair of the town select board.

Courtesy DOROTHY HEINRICHS | ORANGENH.US

Governor Chris Sununu is asking for a federal disaster declaration after heavy rainfall caused flood damage in Grafton County last month.

Sununu's letter to President Donald Trump says the storm on July 11 and 12 dumped inches of rain on several communities.

Crews had to rescue some campers and homeowners from the floodwaters. The rain caused severe damage to dozens of roads, culverts and snowmobile trails... including at Cardigan Mountain State Park.

Courtesy photo Dorothy Heinrichs | orangenh.us

Heavy rains last Thursday in Grafton County caused an estimated $1 million in damages in the towns of Orange and Canaan.

Dorothy Heinrichs is the chair of the Orange select board.

"The town of Orange since, it’s so small, only has 12 miles of town roads. And we suffered an estimated half a million dollars to those roads,” she said.  

Canaan will also have road repairs and a bridge replacement to make from the storm.

Mike Samson, the town administrator, says it'll take about three months and another half million dollars to get all those repairs done.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR file photo, aerial support by Lighthawk

At town meeting in Hampton Tuesday, residents could take another big step in adapting to rising seas.

Voters will decide whether to require pilings under new structures in certain at-risk coastal areas.

Thomas K. Babbit / NHPR file

New data obtained by NPR shows the federal government has bought out more than 60 New Hampshire properties after natural disasters in recent years.

The analysis shows the buyout program disproportionately benefits white and wealthy people.

Read the full NPR investigation and explore the data.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will buy a property prone to flooding to keep taxpayers from funding repeated insurance claims.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Last weekend's winter storm caused only moderate flooding on New Hampshire's Seacoast. But it provided a window into how rising seas will make flooding more frequent, bringing challenges to the state's coastal communities.

DAN TUOHY / NHPR

A new report from Columbia University and First Street Foundation finds that sea level rise and associated tidal flooding have already soaked up value from the coastal New England real estate market.

Researchers say homes have forgone $400 million in relative value since 2005. And in New Hampshire, it has cost homeowners $15 million in lost value.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

State legislators will consider how to prepare New Hampshire for the effects of climate change this session – including with one bill that would help coastal towns facing rising seas.

Seacoast-area state Senator David Watters spoke at the Seacoast Environmental Film Festival Saturday, after a documentary about sea level rise on the Chesapeake Bay.

Ice jam season is arriving in New Hampshire, and officials are warning residents and town officials to be on the lookout for potential hazards.

An ice jam can form when rain falls on a frozen river or stream amid mild temperatures. The ice can partially melt, the water level rises and the ice breaks into chunks.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Even if countries cut greenhouse gas emissions immediately, New Hampshire will get warmer and wetter within the next three decades, and towns need to plan accordingly.

That was the topic of Nashua's first Resilient Nashua Summit, which the city hosted Tuesday as part of a year-long initative to gather input on its plan for dealing with natural disasters exacerbated by climate change. 

NHDOT

The state is testing a new way to keep beavers from clogging up culverts and flooding roads.

Engineers from the Department of Transportation have installed two “"beaver deceivers" on Route 28 in Londonderry, just east of Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. 

NWS

1:00 PM: 

via The Associated Press

A deluge from the remnants of Hurricane Florence has flooded parts of New Hampshire, forcing firefighters to rescue several people.

In Derry, Fire Chief Chief Mike Gagnon said seven people were rescued by boat Tuesday after water rose 5 to 6 feet outside several small businesses in an industrial area. He said eight others were assisted to higher ground, and about 15 cars were flooded.

Failed Beaver Dam Causes Flood on Route 4 in Epsom

Aug 7, 2018
Photo by Manual Crank via Flickr Creative Commons

Monday evening a torrent of water surprised drivers heading home on Route 4 in Epsom. Officials say the culprit was a failed beaver dam.

Flooding on New Hampshire roads because of beaver dams usually occurs when the critters' do their jobs so well that water backs up down stream. It's more unusual to have a ruptured beaver dam lead to flooding, says New Hampshire Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

This week's new moon and the remnants of tropical storm Chris could bring unusually high tides and minor flooding to parts of Hampton this weekend.

Drivers on roads near Hampton Harbor usually notice when tides reach their flood stage of 11 feet high. Low-lying pavement can become covered in water.

Thursday night's high tide was over 11 feet, and high tides may hit that around midnight and midday through early next week.

National Weather Service meteorologist William Watson says there shouldn't be any serious impacts.

File photo

Deb Bourbeau owns a home in Hampton Beach, and each morning, she checks how high the tides will be. Flooding's been an issue for her and her neighbors.

It's one reason she turned out for the New Hampshire Coastal Climate Summit on Wednesday.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A new study says rising seas could threaten more than 5,000 homes on the New Hampshire Seacoast by the end of the century.

The Seacoast properties at risk from chronic flooding pay more than $33 million in property taxes, according to the national report from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is offering grants to coastal communities looking to better prepare for the effects of climate change.

A total amount of $200,000 is available to towns, state agencies, and private groups.  

Winning projects in the past have included everything from infrastructure projects, to flood plain studies, to educational outreach programs.

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