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Boston-area cities and towns risk regular flooding from rising sea levels: Report

Billions in real estate in harm’s way

Flooding in Scituate in March 2018.
Boston Globe/Contributor/Getty Images

A Cambridge-based advocacy group says that several Boston-area cities and towns, including Winthrop, Revere, Quincy, and Nahant, risk regular flooding within the next 50 years from rising sea levels caused by climate change.

That regular flooding, in turn, could sap the municipalities’ resources and routinely cause significant problems for tens of thousands of property owners.

More than one-fourth of Hull’s homes could flood at least 26 times a year, for instance, according to the group, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and 22 percent of homes in Salisbury could be similarly affected.

And such flooding could likely commence sooner rather than later, according to the report, which the group is expected to release June 18. South Shore communities such as Quincy could see at least 1 percent of their homes routinely flooded by 2030.

The good news is that the state, the region, and individual municipalities have begun planning for such possibilities—though monumental questions remain about financing such flood prevention, especially at the local level.

It’s enough for some of these smaller cities and towns to afford to remove snow every winter. Grappling with one in four homes under water regularly might be a bit much.