Inner Harbor flooding (via
Inner Harbor flooding (via

Baltimore could see a tenfold increase in flooding by 2045, a new report warns. With seas rising, Inner Harbor and other areas of the city are expected to see more flood events per year, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Baltimore was among a number of U.S. cities spotlighted by the Union’s report, titled “Encroaching Tides.” Sea level in Baltimore has already risen by 13 inches since 1902.

Over the next 30 years, the waters are expected to come up another foot.As a result, flood-prone areas of the city are expected to see about 225 flooding events per year by 2045. Right now, there are about 15 flooding events per year.

At the rate predicted, that means Inner Harbor would spend 10 percent of the year — or 875 hours — underwater. Good thing there are already plenty of boats.

The report reserves some praise Baltimore City because officials have established a Flood Resilience Area, which allows for the creation of standards that will protect buildings against flooding damage.

But they aren’t mincing words when it comes to Annapolis, which is expected to see 368 flooding events per year by 2045. The scientists ditch the technical language for the capital city and skip straight to the harrowing warning.

“If the city does not pursue substantial measures to defend against rising seas or retreat from the sea, parts of Annapolis would essentially never be dry again,” the report states.

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.