Atlantic City: I’ll meet you tonite…..

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen — 30 January 2020

 

featured_image

Atlantic City” is a song recorded by Bruce Springsteen, on his 1982 solo album Nebraska.  My personal favorite version was recorded by The Band featuring Levon Helm on vocals and Garth Hudson, a personal acquaintance, on accordion.  [ catch the YouTube here ].   The featured image for this essay is Atlantic City, as seen from space, at night — the brilliant white lights on the barrier island just off the New Jersey mainland.

Why Atlantic City?  The governor of New Jersey, Gov. Philip D. Murphy, issued on Monday, 27 January 2020,  his EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 100.   The NY Times states:

“New Jersey will become the first state to require that builders take into account the impact of climate change, including rising sea levels, in order to win government approval for projects, Gov. Philip D. Murphy announced on Monday.”

and

“New Jersey has set a goal of producing 100 percent clean energy by 2050.”

Let’s look at the second bit first:  100 percent clean energy by 2050

What does New Jersey do today for energy?

NJ_energy

New Jersey is better off than many U.S. states — it makes 52% of its electricity from nuclear power.  Two power plants are located along the shores of the Delaware Bay just up the bay from Cape May, New Jersey.  I have sailed past them many times — and once, embarrassingly, ran momentarily aground on a sandbar within the security zone.    If New Jersey can resist the counter-productive forces demanding the shut-down of nuclear plants, they have a chance to get somewhere near the goal of producing their electricity without fossil fuels.   Adding just one additional nuclear plant would get them very close — but unless they begin the process today, they will not meet their target date of 2050.  While full-scale plants like Salem and Hope Creek will be impossible in this time frame, it would be  possible to ramp up with Small Modular Reactors like those being installed as you read this in Idaho.

nuc_plants

Currently, New Jersey produces 42% of its electrical power burning natural gas — and very little using  coal and petroleum.  Renewables make up only 3% of the mix, and New Jersey imports the equivalent of about 6% from other states.

Readers here are familiar with the problems faced by localities that declare “!00% clean energy by….” targets.  Lots of information available on this site.

But what of the second point: “New Jersey will become the first state to require that builders take into account the impact of climate change, including rising sea levels, in order to win government approval for projects”?

One can only say, “It is about time!”

The New Jersey shore is exemplified by Atlantic City — home to nine mega-hotels and casinos.

casinos_and_hotels

From space, via Google Earth, we see the elevation details:

AC_g_earth

All the greenish areas at the top and left are marsh, usually underwater, on the bay side of Atlantic City.  You can see the gentle sloping sandy bottom of the Atlantic Ocean as it runs up to the beaches on the southern side.

So, what’s the worry?

vlm_aslr_400Relative Sea Level is a change in the height of the sea surface where it hits the land.  When the point where the sea surface hits the land is getting higher and higher, then we say we have rising Relative Sea Level.  The relationship changes for two very different reasons:  1)  The surface of the sea actually rises — gets “higher” in relation to the center of the Earth — like adding water to a bathtub raises the surface of the water in the tub.  2) The land moves, down or up — called Vertical Land Movement [VLM] —  sinks towards the center of the Earth or rises up away from the center.  This has two primary causes: movement of continental mass upward or downward and subsidence, downward movement, caused by erosion, compaction of soils, or extraction of ground water (which causes settling of the land).

And in Atlantic City?  We have the situation demonstrated in the animation above.  The sea is ever so slowly rising and the land is a bit less slowly sinking.

A recent report from Rutgers University prepared for the state of New Jersey includes this diagram:

AC_sinkng

How much is it sinking?  Atlantic City is subsiding – sinking — twice as fast as the sea surface height is rising.  Subsidence makes up approximately 2/3rds of Atlantic City’s relative sea level rise — and the only thing that really matters to New Jersey, the Jersey Shore, or Atlantic City is:  How much higher is the sea going to get when measured against the shoreline?

As with all these modern seaside cities, we find that the city is already facing serious problems at today’s sea levels.  They need no threat of sea level rise (or additional subsidence) to be in trouble.  Why?  They have built a modern city, complete with underground infrastructure, streets, highways, causeways, ten and twenty story condominium apartment buildings and massive hotel-casinos on a geologically ephemeral sandbar.   According to NOAA’s Sea Level Rise Viewer [quantitatively questionable  but useful] Atlantic City will be entirely underwater with just 8 feet of additional sea level rise:

AC_SLR_animation

The animation starts at today’s Mean Higher-High Water — what most of us would simply call  High Tide — we see a few low-lying areas in light green.  As the sea rises (doesn’t matter if it is the land subsiding or the sea rising — it is both combined in this case), even just two feet of additional water causes some flooding:

AC_flooding

Three feet of additional water causes significant flooding in bayside neighborhoods and even downtown.

How likely is such flooding?

extreme_water_AC

According to NOAA, there is a 99% chance that Atlantic City will see 1.31 meters or 4.3 feet of water above Mean Sea level at least once  in any given year.  There is a trick here:  NOAA gives height above Mean Sea Level, the Sea Level Viewer gives water above Mean Higher High Water.  The difference is:

AC_datum

There is 2.4 feet between Mean Higher High Water and and Mean Sea Level at Atlantic City. — this means that the highest tides are already problematic for Atlantic City.  Every year they see abnormal tides or storm surge that exceeds 2 feet above MHHW at least once.  And, according to the Exceedance chart from NOAA, every year sees a 50% chance of seeing 5 feet above MSL, of 2.5 feet above MHHW — meaning flooding somewhere between the two images from the Sea Level Rise Viewer.

In 2012, Tropical Storm Sandy flooded 80% of Atlantic City.  In 1976, Hurricane Belle caused a storm surge of 8.85 feet (2.70 m) in Atlantic City.  Today, with 9 feet of storm surge, Atlantic City would look like this:

AC_8ft_storm

Alantic City is typical of the Jersey Shore.  Storm surges and high tides that have already happened in the past represent devastating flooding and destruction.

With a change in Relative Sea Level of 4mm/year, a decade will bring 40mm or an additional 1.6 inches of relative sea surface height.

Any serious storm brings flooding to the Jersey Shore.  Any strong hurricane, Category 3 or above not only threatens flooding and wind damage, but actual altered geography of the barrier island on which whole cities are built, in many recent cases causing new breaches (and here and here.).  These urbanized barrier islands are endangered by their very nature and even more so when over-developed, as is the case with Atlantic City and almost all of the Jersey Shore.

So, what of Governor Murphy’s new Executive Order?

The Governor calls for the state to “require that builders take into account the impact of climate change, including rising sea levels” — and it is far past time to do so.  If they had had such requirements 50 years ago, much of Atlantic City would never have been built, particularly the housing developments on the bayside flats, built nearly at sea level.  If they had had such requirements 20 years ago, mega-hotels and casinos would have been built only on the higher land and with protecting sea walls — building codes would have required hurricane-proofing and ensured safe evacuation routes.  Such requirements would have forbidden any fresh water extraction from beneath low-lying barrier islands and subsidence would have been greatly reduced.

Bottom Line:

  1. At least New Jersey hasn’t shuttered its nuclear power plants which already produce 52% of its electricity. If they bring in Small Modular [nuclear] Reactors they could actually achieve their goal of CO2-free electrical production by 2050.
  1. New Jersey will not be fossil-fuel free anytime this century — no matter how many Executive Orders are issued. New Jersey is home to two major petroleum refineries which process, combined, over 400,000 barrels of oil per day.  83% of New Jersey’s total energy consumption is currently Natural Gas and Petroleum, with 16% from electrical power.  There are nearly 3 million passenger automobiles registered in New Jersey — currently, as of December 2018, there are 23,267 electric vehicles registered in New Jersey (battery and hybrid) — 0.7% of registered vehicles.  Transportation accounts for 46% of New Jersey’s total energy consumption.
  1. New Jersey, like many of the Atlantic states, has allowed unchecked development of its barrier islands — placing billions of dollars of infrastructure at risk along with millions of lives. If the “threat” of climate change is a necessary goad to change this foolish behavior, then at least something good has come of the climate change scare.  It is long past time to rein in this self-destructive over-development of such fragile and by-nature-ephemeral environments.

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Author’s Comment:

I have never been to Atlantic City.  I have visited the northern parts of the Jersey Shore many times and spent a great deal of time sailing past — inshore and offshore — the barrier islands of the American Atlantic Coast.  I have hunkered down while hurricanes have passed directly over our sturdy Southhampton-built British catamaran — and seen what those hurricanes have done to the barrier islands off the coasts of the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, re-configuring inlets, breaching islands, and cutting the homes of friends off from the mainland.

I hate to see overly alarmist climate change predictions used to make public policy — but at least in the case of New Jersey’s intention to make regulations regarding building on fragile, threatened barrier islands, the regulations will be a Win-Win.

The “fossil-fuel free future” however, is a fantasy and efforts to achieve it anytime soon, even if there are monumental technical breakthroughs in the next few years, will probably lead to net-destructive public policy.

I’d love to read your comments, particularly if you live or vacation on  the barrier islands of America’s Atlantic Coast.  And yes, I took poetic license with the Springsteen lyric….

Start your comment with “Kip…” if you are addressing me directly.

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67 thoughts on “Atlantic City: I’ll meet you tonite…..

  1. BP suggests that by 2035 renewables will only be delivering about 10% of energy demand and fossil fuels over 80%. How realistic is a 100% in New Jersey by 2050 – and Irish politicians have the same wishful thinking and have banned drilling and fracking?

    (see Michael Kelly: “Energy Utopias and Engineering Reality”)

  2. I recall reading that a settlement was abandoned from a hurricane on Hog Island on the eastern shore of Virginia , probably mid to late 19th century. That is a less populated part of the marsh/barrier island complex extending down from New Jersey, interrupted by the large bays. There was a “noreaster” that put up hurricane levels in March, 1962, not sure of its extent. A lot there depends on the tidal stage.

    There were a few more recent houses on some of these islands and Coast Guard Stations during WWII.

  3. Maybe OT, but I think I heard on TV the British Prime Minister tell the House of Commons yesterday that GB is, or is going, to campaign for a world wide total ban on coal mining.

    • Maybe he should talk to the Chinese building his communication hardware before he starts mouthing off about coal power.

      • Don’t worry. The ‘world wide’ ban on coal mining will only apply to Western, developed nations. Every other nation will get an unlimited exemption.

  4. If they had had such requirements 50 years ago, much of Atlantic City would never have been built, particularly the housing developments on the bayside flats, built nearly at sea level. If they had had such requirements 20 years ago, mega-hotels and casinos would have been built only on the higher land and with protecting sea walls

    Really????
    “If they had had such requirements 50 years ago”
    Then 50 years of productive value of all that housing would have been denied to the residents by a bureaucrat who likely does not even live there.

    “mega-hotels and casinos would have been built only on”
    Telling people what to do again. Really Now.
    If you have the resources to build a luxury resort hotel, you have the resources to plan correctly. Even if you do not do so, the banks lending you the money will insist. No problem.

    This highlights the real problem. See something, then regulate, Regulate, REGULATE. For everybody else’s own good, of course.
    So what problems do the resort casinos face now?
    “casinos would have been built only on the higher land and with protecting sea walls”
    If the casino owners decide they need sea walls, they can afford to build them. Leave me out of it.

    Government Plan A:
    1) Require sea walls.
    2) Pass zoning laws preventing the construction of sea walls.
    3) Levy fines against the properties for not having the required sea walls.
    4) Subsidize the businesses with federally funded flood insurance.

    Sure.

    • TonyL ==> Are you a New Jersey resident/voter? If so, you have the right to protest to your state legislature and demand that the state government not institute such things as reasonable and necessary building codes — then you can sit back and watch your state oivernment raise taxes so that you can pay for the repeated cleanup and restoration of neighborhoods that have been flooded by storm surge on the barrier islands and pay for the massive expenses involved in rebuilding causeways, new sewage treatment plants, beach restoration, etc etc. Your choice as a citizen.

      • I get to play my part financing Federal Insurance for coastal areas, thank you for asking.
        As far as everything else goes:
        Building on barrier islands is a well known risk, and the risks have been well recognized for a very long time.
        “you can pay for the repeated cleanup and restoration of neighborhoods”
        Not my problem. People built there, they can pay for their own mess.

        “pay for the massive expenses involved in rebuilding causeways, new sewage treatment plants, beach restoration”
        City built there, city can pay. Not my problem.

        Kill Shot:
        I think you will find that these problems are self-limiting. Do not have government at all levels subsidizing the development, and people will think twice about investing and developing there. If they do choose to develop or invest, insurance and/or cleanup expense is on them. No more Govt. regulation needed.

        If people really want to live there, and can afford it, good for them. Not my concern. And nobody to tell them they cannot.

        It seems your argument for regulation is predicated on cutting government/taxpayer expenses following a “disaster”. Fair enough, but when government is not in the business of bailing out property owners, none of this is needed. {Note that I put “disaster” in quotes to note an event which is well known to occur, and so surprises nobody}

        • TonyL ==> You do understand that simply by allowing such development that the state obligates taxpayers to pay the costs of repairs after storms etc? Taxpayers don’t get to choose to declare “Not my concern”.

          • “by allowing such development that the state obligates taxpayers to pay the costs of repairs”
            There is no such obligation. At All.
            The State allowing development, or allowing anything else, obligates the taxpayers to Exactly Nothing.
            There is no obligation, either expressed or implied.
            The State chooses to burden the taxpayers with expenses, nothing more, nothing less.

          • TonyL ==> Just look at history….how much did the taxpayers of NJ shell out after Tropical Storm Sandy?

          • Jeff ==> I simply refuse — there is no official classification “Superstorm” — and, as we all know, that is propaganda. Nice catch though……

      • Hanson subscribes to the (leftist) New York Times

        Is a fan of (far left) Bruce Springsteen.

        Is extremely concerned with (solid blue state) New Jersey.

        Probably a secret Bernie Sanders supporter too.

        What’s going on here ?

  5. Ever since I actually understood ‘cut equals fill’ at the age of about five, I also understood that you shouldn’t build on a flood plain. It’s literally so simple that even a child can understand it.

    • commie ==> My wife and I shoveled mud out of houses in New Jersey after some heavy rains flooded a dozen neighborhoods — all built on known riverine flood plains — all had flooded before,

      New Jersey has a long long record of allowing developers to buy cheap land (cheap because it is unsuitable) and build houses sold at great profit to the unwary.

      They have built on known flood plains, mud flats, lightly filled saltwater marsh, etc.

      • A floodplain in a small MD town got filled w/trailer homes & all got washed away/destroyed by flooding from Hurricane Agnes in 1972. For many yrs the town kept that floodplain clear, but slowly & surely the trailer homes crept back in & then a repeat of the destruction occurred in Sept 1996. Again, it was kept clear for some yrs, and the same thing happened — then a repeat of trailer home destruction in 2018.

        Sometimes you wonder…..

  6. Nice job Kip offering an objective perspective on a subject that people get overly emotional about..Having lived in NE Florida for 30 years I’ve seen my share of storms..I remember back in my college days our marine ecology professor told us, “Florida was once underwater, and it will be again someday..” This was well before the AWG climate scare craze..looking back, she was simply stating a fact..Florida sits over a limestone layer covered with sand and is sinking at a rate of 0.5 ± 1.6 mm/yr, split the difference and that’s about 1.05 mm/year, so if my math is correct it would take us close to 300 years to sink a foot..The bigger concern we have is the drawdown of the aquifer and whether or not it will speed up subsidence alonge with the potential intrusion of saltwater and what that will ultimately mean to our drinking supply, but I digress..Consider Anastasia Island which is part of our barrier island chain..These sand bars were never intended to be built on in the first place and at some point in the far geological future they won’t be there, but that’s just mans folly thinking that just by buidling something somewhere that it’s meant to be there forever.

  7. Kip,
    It appears that folks at Rutgers University did not like Figure 2 in the original Final report. Seems it didn’t fit their narrative, so they changed Figure 2 in the Final Final version. The link you provided goes to the Final Final report. Do you have a copy of the first Final version that you can make available?

  8. So they have until 2050 to get sane and honest again in NJ.

    Will the pension system last that long and will carbon taxes be diverted to prop it up?

  9. There is always moral hazard involved when doing the right things for the wrong reasons.

    Alas, the Climate Alarm may be the only way politically to eventually (next 150 years) transfer grid level power generation (and eventually transportation fuels) over to Nuclear Power.

  10. I was in Atlantic City. It was about 60 years ago when I was a boy. My grandparents who lived in Wilmington DE took me to AC. I remember going to see the Diving Horse. It was horse that dove off a platform into a water tank on the Steel Pier. The courage of horse and rider was hyped, but I thought it was really stupid.

    Atlantic City’s real service to humanity was serving as the template for the Monopoly game board. If it gets washed away, we shouldn’t bother to restore it.

  11. 1000 years ago Harlech castle sea gate was built approx 4 m (13 feet) above today’s high tide. The land is very stable so sea level must have been higher. WAIS instability seems best fit cause…

    • High water mark is ~ 1km from the water-gate.
      2 reasons…
      1 – post glacial rebound
      2 – Long-shore drift; SW winds & tides built a sand dune island, the resultant lagoon filled with silt from the Avon Glaslyn & Afon Dwyryd – became salt marsh when that dried out and became land on which they have farmed and built housing estates. If you look at this aerial phots of the castle… https://i.ytimg.com/vi/l60CLFfLLqU/maxresdefault.jpg : water-gate at ‘bottom left’; the railway station is built on a small rock outcrop about 100 metres from the water-gate; you can see the old shore line ‘top right’ where the tree line is.

      20km down the coast, Fairbourne (the village is to be abandoned to the sea… so we can claim climate refugee status ! ) was built (120ys ago) on an identical sand-dune spit that is currently being washed away, some of that sand is forming around Harlech
      See – Matthew 7:24

    • OK S. ==> Hmmmm… when I click on the YouTube I get Brian Williams and the Today Show — and The Band, of course.

  12. We visited Jekyll Island – 70 miles south of Savannah GA – in 1966 and learned of the natural history of such islands. Authorities had already started implementing measures to protect such places.
    New Jersey must be home to a lot of slow learners!

  13. Kip, you are being far too optimistic on those two nuclear power plants remaining operational through 2050.

    The Climate Change Green Energy Scam is all about eliminating reliable sources of base-load generated electricity and replacing them with unreliable wind and solar so that the rich elites who have investments in those can profit handsomely selling expensive electricity and getting tax credits for it to boot. The GreenSlime has the Russian-back Environmental NGOs aiding them in their nuclear power shutdown advocacy.

    The Salem Nuclear Power plant Unit 1 is licensed to operate until August 13, 2036 and Unit 2 is licensed to operate until April 18, 2040. Hope Creek’s license expires on April 11, 2046. This is after a 20 license renewal approved for all three in 2011.

    I see no way the Idiotic Left will allow those 3 licenses to be renewed unless there is political upheaval in the US throwing the them all out of political power from the state to national levels before 2036.

    • Joel ==> Well, they are licensed out to 2036, for a minimum of 16 more years. Maybe by that time the AGW scare will have worn itself out.

      Maybe they can add some SMRs and take up the remaining 48%.

      • Kip,
        That’s a mighty big “Maybe”.

        Rather than banking on the ‘AGW scare’ wearing itself out, I’d rather see the Idiotic Left get tossed to curb by an anti-woke US electorate desperate for conservative politician concerned about their interests and preserving liberties, and not the globalist-elites’ welfare.

        • Joel ==> All these social fads eventually die out — people just get tired of them. Nothing really changed on the acid-rain fad, or the ozone hole fad, they just ran out of steam.

          Something else will come along — maybe corona-virus or some social anti-blondes movement that will catch the public’s heated imagination and replace the Climate Change scare.

  14. Melbourne City Council announced several years ago that the city would become 100% renewable.
    Oh but wait.- we only meant the council’s infrastructure, not private or other governments’.
    Oh but wait #2.- we only meant renewable electrical energy. We will still use gas for heating and oil for vehicles.
    Oh but wait#3.- we have a contract for all our electricity from Crowlands windfarm, but we not letting you see the contract.
    By my estimate once the windfarm goes below 15% output there is not enough for MCC and all other contract holders so backup must be from somewhere else hence NOT 100%

  15. Atlantic City is much more heavily urbanized than most of the New Jersey barrier islands due to the decision to allow casino gambling there, which brought in high-rise hotels with casinos on the ground floor. Most of the other barrier islands in New Jersey have either single-family (summer) homes or occasional hotels less than five stories high. The abundance of high-rise hotels in Atlantic City has probably accelerated subsidence of the land as compared to other barrier islands.

    It’s a mistake to blame the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy on “global warming”. Although the eye of Hurricane Sandy scored nearly a direct hit on Atlantic City, the centers of most hurricanes and offshore winter storms (nor’easters) do not come ashore in New Jersey, as most of them are steered northeastward by the Gulf Stream. A hurricane whose eye misses the Outer Banks of the Carolinas usually stays offshore, not making landfall until it is north of Cape Cod or eventually Nova Scotia.

    Winds around an offshore eye are generally out of the northeast as the storm approaches, shifting to north and then to northwest as the eye moves northward. A northeast wind does not bring much storm surge to the New Jersey coast, because Cape Cod sticks out about 200 miles east into the ocean, so that there is not enough “fetch” (distance the wind blows across open water) to whip up a major storm surge. With the Atlantic City shoreline facing southeast, the waves from a nor’easter are blown parallel to the shore, which would not cause a storm surge.

    Hurricane Sandy was an anomaly, because it formed over the Caribbean in late October, while there was an unusually strong and COLD high-pressure area (anticyclone) over the North Atlantic off the northeast coast of the United States. As Sandy moved northward, strong easterly winds around the southern edge of the anticyclone steered the center of Sandy westward into New Jersey, right around Atlantic City. To the north of the eye, the strongest winds were out of the east and southeast, which had a long “fetch” over the open Atlantic, causing a major storm surge along the New Jersey coast from Atlantic City northward, extending into Raritan Bay, pushing storm waters into New York harbor and low-lying areas in northeastern New Jersey.

    But if there was really “global warming”, there wouldn’t have been a cold anticyclone over the North Atlantic, and Sandy would have moved northeastward off the coast and maybe hit Newfoundland, with a northeast wind and minimal storm surge along the New Jersey shore. As further proof that Sandy was a “cold” storm, it brought heavy snow to West Virginia in late October!

    It probably would be a good idea to build sea walls along the shore of Atlantic City, between the beach and the boardwalk (in front of the casinos). Even President Trump, who pulled the United States of the Paris accord, might agree, since he owns two casinos in Atlantic City.

    • Steve Z ==> Most of the flooding occurs on the bayside of Atlantic City where homes have been built on what are virtually tidal mudflats.

      Storms like Sandy are inevitable and will occur again, sooner or later. Atlantic City is already in trouble with today’s tides and storm surge — so it can only get worse in the future.

  16. Kip
    The following is a case where coastal subdivision refused on sea level rise grounds.
    https://www.claytonutz.com/knowledge/2009/february/rising-sea-levels-a-sea-change-for-the-courts-and-decision-makers.
    I am unaware of any recent refusal.
    In Melbourne Australia. The drainage authority Melbourne Water don’t really refuse any private developments – they basically just set a higher floor level.
    No changes to government infrastructure such as roads is required

    • Waza ==> Well, that’s pleasant news — at least someone somewhere is paying attention.

      I grew up a California surfer boy — bopping to the Beach Boys, who were likely to be sitting out on their boards right next to us waiting for a wave, and love long open undeveloped beaches — there were some in those days.

      All that is needed is a little common sense — don’t build directly in harm’s way.

  17. Currently, Atlantic City’s biggest problem is the loss of it’s Monopoly status for casino gambling in its region. Nearby states have allowed new casinos to be developed in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York. The former area to draw local gamblers from has been reduced tremendously.

    As to building on barrier islands, the large hotels are already designed to weather the flooding described in the article with “acceptable” levels of damage. None of the casinos were shut down for extended periods (greater than three months) due to the storms experienced in the last 20 years.

    As to smaller developments and single family homes, building codes and insurance requirements have been toughened up greatly both before and especially after Sandy. I am acquainted with several homeowners on New Jersey low lying shore properties. When they rebuilt after Sandy, they had to raise up the new home on extensive pilings, and the at-risk first level had to be designed with break away wall sections to prevent storm surges from destroying the upper structure.

    I live 32 miles from the ocean, and when I built an accessory structure on my property, my architect was surprised that we we in an upgraded wind speed code area due to revised (2009) building codes. The structure would need to withstand 110mph sustained wind speeds, the same as shorefront properties.

    The 110mph sustained windspeed design requires extensive changes to wood structures. Gable end walls of triangular truss design cannot be mounted on a horizontal stud wall. They must have vertical through truss studs to prevent the roof from detaching at the line between the lower floor and the truss.
    This is why you see compound triangular roofs on most new construction with no Gable ends in the design. Also, in my case a 2400sq.ft. building would have required metal strap strong ties between foundation and bottom plate, sill, wall studs, top plate, and prefab truss frame. I did the math and it was several hundred metal straps with several thousand wood screws.

    After going through the building codes, it ended up cheaper to build a steel structure than stick built, due to the labor required to install all those straps.

    My point is that New Jersey is already requiring new or substantially rebuilt structures in the shore areas to be resilient to coastal flooding.

    • John ==> Thank you for the detailed report on NJ’s enhanced building codes. I am familiar with the similar requirements in the Carolinas for low-lying areas.

      I think the major change in NJ with the new Governor’s Exec Order is that sea level will have to be taken into account — and they will use some ridiculous 6 feet in 50 years standard.

      The upside is that they will forbid building on mudflats and in flood zones.

  18. If NJ became 100% nuclear, it would dent the overall C02 levels worldwide. With China and Russia et. al committed to increasing coal and petro usage, any analysis of NJ’s power generation is mute i.e. silly.

      • Sure, I am for nuclear. But in the context of global warming and sea levels those SMRs would have no impact. Just because they are local to NJ does not mean they will preferentially help Atlantic City. You can’t be forwarding that idea.

        • Kevin ==> This essay is about the Governor of NJ’s Executive Order….which dictates “fossil fuel free energy” by 2050 and new regulations that must take “climate change” into account for new developments etc, mostly Sea Level Rise threat.

          The SMRs thing is about the fossil-fuel free NJ plan, NJ already gets over 50% of its electricity from nuclear — and if they add MORE nuclear, they might make it.

          The Nuclear issue has nothing whatever to do with Atlantic City’s problem with the sea – separate issues. Atlantic City has a huge problem with sea level today — no need for future fears to play into it. Better regulations that forbid stupid development at sea level and on flood plains is needed. NJ already has some good rules, but needs more. Allowing more sand bar cities is foolish — for the entire US Atlantic coast.

          • Then why are you bringing up “CO2-free electrical production” and electric cars in NJ within an article about sea level rise and its effect on Atlantic City? Seems like you are making some kind of connection. As if 100% nuclear NJ and more electric cars would make some sort of difference locally. Which it will not. I would say the Executive Order makes a false assumption: “New Jersey has set a goal of producing 100 percent clean energy by 2050.” as if it will help climate change local to NJ. It’s confusing. It would have been better to issue separate orders: one on building codes and another on power production. Conflating the two is not technically accurate.

          • Kevin ==> The Governor’s Executive Order has two components: fossil-free clean energy production by 2050 and new buildoing regs requiing the taking of climate and sea level into a

  19. “New Jersey will become the first state to require that builders take into account the impact of climate change, including rising sea levels, in order to win government approval for projects, Gov. Philip D. Murphy announced on Monday.”
    ____________________________________

    Make that:

    Residents to all times everywhere elected governments that

    had required and will require that “new builders take into account” [ fill in appropriate ] “in order to win government approval for projects”

    so the established residents can prohibit every change in their traditional / inherited environment

    till hell freezes over.

    ____________________________________

    Nothing new under the sun.

  20. “New Jersey has set a goal of producing 100 percent clean energy by 2050.”

    ____________________________________

    Governments repeatedly give pledges

    voters not necessarily asked for.

    But think “our government must know it better than us, anyway shows thei’re hard working in our behalf.”

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