MBTA workers set up pumps to empty out the foot-plus-deep water that shut down Wollaston Station in September 1996.Tom Landers/Globe Staff/File
By David Abel Globe Staff,Updated October 17, 2021, 4:41 p.m.
In oceanside Hull, more than 80 percent of government buildings, schools, and houses of worship are at risk of such significant flooding that a major storm could render them inoperable or inaccessible. In Adams, at the far northwestern corner of the state, nearly every commercial building is vulnerable to a similar fate. And in Lawrence, in the Merrimack Valley, flooding could shut down 75 percent of the city’s police and fire stations, waste-water treatment facility, and other critical infrastructure.
The threat of flooding from major storms and rising sea levels already poses a dire threat to Massachusetts — and those risks are growing significantly all across the state, according to a new report by First Street Foundation, a New York nonprofit research group that specializes in flood risk.
Overall, in Massachusetts, an estimated 162,798 residential properties, 12,918 miles of roads, 14,644 commercial properties, and nearly 2,500 other critical buildings, such as hospitals, power stations, and government buildings, are at risk of becoming deluged and inoperable, the report estimates.
By 2051, as climate change produces stronger storms and rising tides, an additional 27,714 residential properties, 1,181 miles of roads, 2,119 commercial properties, and more than 450 critical buildings will face similar risks, the report projects.