REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – The iconic California coast is disappearing, and will be leaving many who reside at the beach vulnerable.
Alex Smith strolls down Avenue I in Redondo Beach on a short break from his office where he works as a real estate broker. He loves his close walk to the beach, and the view of Southern California.
An in-depth report released by the LA Times details the rising sea levels causing the iconic California coast to disappear.
“The property values would absolutely be at stake. The desirability of living in the South Bay, theoretically of living anywhere at the beach in California would get more questionable,” said Smith.
The report states that the coastline is eroding with every tide and every storm. By the end of the century two-thirds of the beaches could vanish, and more than $150-billion in property could be at risk of flooding, which is something insurers may not want to be on the hook for.
“People are happy to go buy the property as long as they know they can have the insurance to cover catastrophic damage. If it gets bad enough insurers will just stop giving coverage,” said Smith.
The risk of flooding is something Phyllis Grifman knows about as the Associate Director of the Sea Grant Program at University of Southern California.
“I think in 50 years there will not be houses right on beaches anymore, it’s just not sustainable,” said Grifman.
Models created by the United States Geological Survey show where water would rise. The models predicts Redondo’s neighbor Hermosa Beach would flood a few blocks behind The Strand if water were to rise 200 centimeters.
An immediate approach would be to watch for places that are continually at risk.
“When you see certain places flood over and over again then there has to be the acknowledgment that these places are not sustainable,” said Grifman.
For Smith, it is still business as usual with no sign of slowing down. Smith says the desire to live at the coast would have to stop if the levels rose, putting lives and property in jeopardy.
“You’d actually have to see homes start falling off the cliffs, for people who want to say I don’t want to buy the neighbor’s house,” said Smith.
California residents are hoping it won’t come to that.