The picturesque city of Olympia, Washington is located on Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean. So the low-lying downtown area often floods during high tides and heavy rains.
HAUB: “Our tides have a really wide fluctuation, fifteen feet over a six hour time period is not uncommon. It’s not a threat now, but with sea rise, it becomes a significant threat.”
That’s Andy Haub, Olympia’s Water Resources Director. He knows that preparing for climate change requires a sophisticated and detailed plan. So Olympia is using computer mapping, weather monitoring and other technology to assess the situation.
Results so far suggest that wall or barrier systems will be needed to shield the city from the rising sea. Olympia will also need to rethink its current drainage system, which could overflow and allow seawater to run into the city during high tides and storms.