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Prime property should prepare for future flooding: City report

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Some of Vancouver’s priciest real estate should be prepared for future flooding, according to a new City of Vancouver report.

One expert says cities on the coast will continue to make adjustments to deal with climate change.

The report is set for presentation to Vancouver City Council next week, recommending areas like False Creek and other prime waterfront property fall under flood plain designation.

UBC climate change expert Simon Donner says over the coming years many cities will need to make similar preparations.

“The rate of sea level rise — we’re talking about millimetres per year — may sound very small,” Donner says. “If you add it up over time, it’s a big problem. If you’re buying a house today, and you have a 30-year mortgage, the sea level’s going to be about a foot higher probably by then.”

If the city implements the reports recommendations, new homes within the flood plain zone must be built at higher levels, increasing construction costs.

“In the future, a high tide is going to be extremely high in places that we think of today as safe, will actually be inundated,” Donner says. “The truth is, you don’t have to go very far [to see the impacts of climate change]. You can see it right home here in Vancouver.”