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This Is the Coastal City With the Greatest Risk of Flooding

This Is the Coastal City With the Greatest Risk of Flooding

Hurricane Beryl, the earlier Category 5 hurricane on record, has already left a trail of destruction as it passes through the Caribbean. Dangerous flash flooding is very likely, and Jamaica, the next country in Beryl’s path, is bracing for it.

Coastal areas are subject to flooding but even inland environments are subject to water overflow. CNN reported this week that in Ruidoso, New Mexico, a flash flood turned “roads into rivers.” These types of floods are more localized and typically occur away from the coast, but coastal cities may also experience flash floods. More frequently, however, coastal cities experience floods that develop slowly (usually within a few hours and across several days).

FEMA put together the National Risk Index, which offers an illustration that highlights 18 natural hazards and their risk index throughout the U.S. from “insufficient data” to “very high.” Among those natural hazards is coastal flooding along with riverine flooding and tsunamis. Some cities like Millville in New Jersey are lower on the National Risk Index while cities like Merritt Island in Florida have a significantly higher National Risk Index. This information is helpful in various industries, including private sectors, local, state, and federal governments, and academia.

The risk assessment of natural hazards helps identify community risk factors and empowers all locals to make well-informed decisions. This may affect your private or professional emergency plans, hazard mitigation plans, and research into available community resources. This knowledge is also helpful in a practical sense for both homeowners and renters. The risk index is a valuable dataset as it informs the safety precautions communities can take to keep risk at a minimum and take action should flooding occur. (Also read about the US cities with the highest hurricane risk.)

To determine the coastal cities with the greatest risk of flooding, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on natural hazard risk for U.S. census tracts from the March 2023 FEMA National Risk Index dataset. Cities were ranked based on the average coastal flooding risk index score for all census tracts within their borders. Data was aggregated from the census tract level to the city level using spatial boundary definitions from the U.S. Census Bureau’s TIGER/Line program. Supplemental data on the total value of all owner-occupied homes and populations is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Only places with at least 25,000 residents were considered.

50. Millville, NJ

Tire tracks crisscross slush and snow in a parking lot in Millville, NJ.
Source: Bryan Littel / Shutterstock.com

Source: Bryan Littel / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 85.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.7 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -2.5%
  • Total population: 27,523

49. La Porte, TX

Source: TrongNguyen / iStock via Getty Images

Source: TrongNguyen / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 85.4/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.1 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +1.6%
  • Total population: 35,782

48. Myrtle Beach, SC

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 86.0/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.8 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +17.2%
  • Total population: 36,064

47. Channelview, TX

America Flag and Lone Star Texas State Flag waving in the wind over Midland, Texas
Source: NayaDadara / Shutterstock.com

Source: NayaDadara / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 86.2/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.7 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +5.4%
  • Total population: 43,204

46. Dania Beach, FL

Source: typhoonski / iStock via Getty Images

Source: typhoonski / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 86.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.2 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +0.6%
  • Total population: 31,700

45. Fruit Cove, FL

Fruit Cove. Florida. USA
Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com

Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 86.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.5 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +10.9%
  • Total population: 35,333

44. Alameda, CA

Source: Sundry Photography / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Sundry Photography / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 86.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $18.0 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -0.9%
  • Total population: 77,565

43. Norfolk, VA

Source: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Source: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 87.0/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $13.4 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -3.6%
  • Total population: 236,973

42. Salem, MA

Source: sphraner / iStock via Getty Images

Source: sphraner / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 87.1/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.9 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +3.2%
  • Total population: 44,541

41. Juneau, AK

Source: SCStock / iStock via Getty Images

Source: SCStock / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 87.2/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.5 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -1.0%
  • Total population: 32,108

40. Gulfport, MS

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 87.2/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.0 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +1.7%
  • Total population: 72,524

39. Virginia Beach, VA

Source: ABEMOS / iStock via Getty Images

Source: ABEMOS / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 87.4/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $48.3 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +1.7%
  • Total population: 457,900

38. Linden, NJ

View of mudflats and the salt marsh at Hawk Rise Sanctuary in Linden, New Jersey
Source: quiggyt4 / Shutterstock.com

Source: quiggyt4 / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 87.7/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.3 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +3.0%
  • Total population: 43,478

37. Newport, RI

'The Breakers', a Vanderbilt Mansion. It is a National Historic Landmark. - Newport, Rhode Island
Source: jejim / Shutterstock.com

Source: jejim / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 88.2/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.3 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +1.4%
  • Total population: 25,087

36. Hilton Head Island, SC

Source: MargaretW / iStock via Getty Images

Source: MargaretW / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 88.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $10.4 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -4.9%
  • Total population: 37,708

35. Lakeside, FL

Lake located in Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park in Keystone Heights Florida Clay County
Source: Natalya Chernyavskaya / Shutterstock.com

Source: Natalya Chernyavskaya / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 88.4/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.0 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: NA
  • Total population: 30,973

34. Bayonne, NJ

Source: Roman Babakin / Getty Images

Source: Roman Babakin / Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 88.5/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.8 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +5.7%
  • Total population: 70,497

33. Marrero, LA

Boardwalk trail through wild Louisiana swamp and marsh in Barataria Preserve outside Marrero near New Orleans, USA
Source: Nina Alizada / Shutterstock.com

Source: Nina Alizada / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 88.8/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.4 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +1.8%
  • Total population: 32,003

32. Charleston, SC

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 89.1/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $21.6 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +14.3%
  • Total population: 149,960

31. Lake Jackson, TX

Source: The Bohemian Lens / Shutterstock.com

Source: The Bohemian Lens / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 89.2/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.7 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +2.3%
  • Total population: 27,954

30. Tarpon Springs, FL

Source: benedek / iStock via Getty Images

Source: benedek / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 89.4/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.4 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +2.7%
  • Total population: 25,355

29. Galveston, TX

Source: kat-co / iStock via Getty Images

Source: kat-co / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 89.7/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.7 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +7.2%
  • Total population: 53,265

28. Kenner, LA

Kenner. Louisiana. USA on a geography map
Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com

Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 89.9/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.1 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -2.2%
  • Total population: 65,785

27. Sebastian, FL

Source: dosecreative / iStock via Getty Images

Source: dosecreative / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 89.9/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.5 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +5.6%
  • Total population: 25,266

26. Terrytown, LA

Terrytown. Louisiana. USA on a map
Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com

Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 90.1/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $0.9 million
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +7.8%
  • Total population: 26,105

25. Annapolis, MD

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 90.1/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $6.3 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +4.0%
  • Total population: 40,719

24. Miami Beach, FL

Source: LG Media Group / Shutterstock.com

Source: LG Media Group / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 90.2/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $17.7 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -10.6%
  • Total population: 82,400

23. Long Beach, NY

Source: Josip_Brombauer / Getty Images

Source: Josip_Brombauer / Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 90.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $6.0 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +3.2%
  • Total population: 34,734

22. Chelsea, MA

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 90.4/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.9 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +1.6%
  • Total population: 39,890

21. New Smyrna Beach, FL

Source: Jupiterimages / PHOTOS.com>> via Getty Images

Source: Jupiterimages / PHOTOS.com>> via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 90.4/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.6 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +21.3%
  • Total population: 30,449

20. Ormond Beach, FL

Source: Jupiterimages / PHOTOS.com>> via Getty Images

Source: Jupiterimages / PHOTOS.com>> via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 90.5/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $5.0 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +4.6%
  • Total population: 43,127

19. Metairie, LA

Source: BergmannD / iStock via Getty Images

Source: BergmannD / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 90.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $13.2 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -3.3%
  • Total population: 140,046

18. Mount Pleasant, SC

Source: PeterPhoto / Getty Images

Source: PeterPhoto / Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 90.8/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $19.4 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +12.7%
  • Total population: 90,945

17. Kearny, NJ

Source: LuzGuz / iStock via Getty Images

Source: LuzGuz / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 91.0/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.0 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -3.1%
  • Total population: 41,157

16. Prairieville, LA

Prairieville. Texas. USA on a map
Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com

Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 91.4/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.3 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +12.0%
  • Total population: 34,215

15. New Orleans, LA

New Orleans, Louisiana. Amazing aerial skyline. by pisaphotography
Source: pisaphotography / Shutterstock.com

  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 91.7/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $30.7 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -2.0%
  • Total population: 380,408

14. Hampton, VA

Source: Davel5957 / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Davel5957 / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 92.2/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $7.8 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +0.7%
  • Total population: 137,217

13. Key West, FL

Source: Ultima_Gaina / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Ultima_Gaina / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 92.4/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.8 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +3.0%
  • Total population: 26,078

12. Milford city, CT

Source: pabradyphoto / iStock via Getty Images

Source: pabradyphoto / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 92.7/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $6.8 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -3.2%
  • Total population: 50,664

11. Hoboken, NJ

Source: James Andrews / iStock via Getty Images

Source: James Andrews / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 92.9/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $9.5 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +8.6%
  • Total population: 58,754

10. Rahway, NJ

Source: Marko Georgiev / Getty Images

Source: Marko Georgiev / Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 93.1/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.5 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +0.8%
  • Total population: 29,664

9. Fleming Island, FL

Florida Sunset with breaking waves
Source: Noel Fleming / Shutterstock.com

Source: Noel Fleming / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 93.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.7 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +2.2%
  • Total population: 29,810

8. Portsmouth, VA

Source: cbell7153 / Getty Images

Source: cbell7153 / Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 93.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $5.3 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +1.9%
  • Total population: 97,384

7. Biloxi, MS

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 94.1/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.6 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +8.4%
  • Total population: 49,141

6. Gloucester, MA

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 94.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $5.4 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -0.1%
  • Total population: 29,830

5. Carteret, NJ

Sign for Exit 12 on the New Jersey Turnpike I95 for Carteret and Rahway
Source: Rosemarie Mosteller / Shutterstock.com

Source: Rosemarie Mosteller / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 94.8/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.5 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +4.7%
  • Total population: 25,161

4. Palm City, FL

A Coconut tree and blue sky.
Source: C.Aphirak / Shutterstock.com

Source: C.Aphirak / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 95.1/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.8 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +5.8%
  • Total population: 25,957

3. Laplace, LA

Source: natelarson / iStock via Getty Images

Source: natelarson / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 95.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.6 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +2.6%
  • Total population: 28,956

2. Merritt Island, FL

Source: Bkamprath / E+ via Getty Images

Source: Bkamprath / E+ via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 96.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.8 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -5.7%
  • Total population: 34,300

1. Atlantic City, NJ

Source: AUDREY SCRIPP / iStock via Getty Images

Source: AUDREY SCRIPP / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA coastal flooding risk index score: 99.5/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.1 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -1.5%
  • Total population: 38,487
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