Coastal communities in portions of the United States are vulnerable to storm-surge inundation from hurricanes and this vulnerability will likely increase, given predicted rises in sea level from climate change and growing coastal development. In this paper, we provide an overview of research to determine current and future societal vulnerability to hurricane storm-surge inundation and to help public officials and planners integrate these scenarios into their long-range land use plans. Our case study is Sarasota County, Florida, where planners face the challenge of balancing increasing population growth and development with the desire to lower vulnerability to storm surge. Initial results indicate that a large proportion of Sarasota County's residential and employee populations are in areas prone to storm-surge inundation from a Category 5 hurricane. This hazard zone increases when accounting for potential sea-level-rise scenarios, thereby putting additional populations at risk. Subsequent project phases involve the development of future land use and vulnerability scenarios in collaboration with local officials. Copyright ASCE 2008.
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Current & future vulnerability of sarasota county Florida to hurricane storm surge & sea level rise