The Baltimore metro region is highly susceptible to flooding, and future storms may result in increased flood risk, economic damages and life safety concerns, not just for tropical storms and hurricanes but also for nor'easters.
Presidential declarations for seven flood-related disasters were made for Baltimore County between 1971 and 2011. In Baltimore City, alone, annualized damages due to coastal flooding are estimated at $2.2 million.
Hurricane Sandy caused a relatively moderate storm surge in the Baltimore metropolitan region. Historical storms including Hurricane Isabel in 2003 caused more damages in the Baltimore region (7-plus feet at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Baltimore gauge station). Heavy rains that occurred several days after Isabel added to localized and flash flooding in the area. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and Fells Point Historic District along with other waterfront neighborhoods were flooded with up to 8 feet of water.
Through NACCS, sea level change analyses for NOAA’s Baltimore gauge station estimates an increase in mean sea level by the year 2100 of 1.0, 2.1, and 5.4 feet (NAVD) for the low, intermediate and high scenarios, respectively. Coupled with sea level change over time, future storms affecting the Baltimore metropolitan region may result in increased flood risk. Steady population growth and continuing near-shore development is increasing the risk of human injury and property loss.