Not too soon for Sandy lessons

Jeff Mount from UC Davis:

The San Francisco Bay Area business community should be taking notes. This trifecta of high tides, storm surge and intense rain is also a Bay Area scenario. Scientists and a host of government agencies have been warning about such an event for years.

It may not appear so on a map, but the Bay Area has half of California’s shoreline. Unlike the rest of the state’s coast, most of that shoreline is along reclaimed lowlands that are prone to flooding from the bay and surrounding creeks – the same as waterfront cities in New York and New Jersey.

A major storm in the Bay Area would put more than 140,000 people at risk of serious flooding, along with $30 billion worth of public assets that include the Port of Oakland, two major airports and 800 miles of roadways.

It’s not tropical storms that pose the risk, Mount says, but “atmospheric rivers”.