SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - Thousands of homes in the Cape Fear Region could be inundated with floods in the next 30 years.
A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists estimates over $1 billion worth of homes along the coast in our area are at risk due to sea level rise driven by climate change.
"The ocean doesn't care if you are a Democrat or Republican. It doesn't care if you are American," Pete Key, president of Brunswick Environmental Action, said. "It's going to do what it's going to do and it's coming. We need to do something about it if we can."
The report provides estimates for homes in 2045 and 2100. Scientists estimate over 3,500 homes in the Cape Fear Region are at risk of severe flooding in the next 30 years.
The UCS report calls for an aggressive worldwide effort to combat climate change and an overhaul of the federal flood insurance program.
Key admits his reach may not extend to our nation's capital so he's working at the state level.
"Right now, there's a deaf ear in Raleigh and we'd like to change that," Key explained. "We aren't talking hundreds of years down the road this is impacting the area."
Progress may not happen as quickly as the people demanding it would like.
In the meantime, the foundations of coastline homes are continuing to be laid seemingly every day. One area builder is calling on homeowners to better prepare their homes as they await legislation.
"Those houses can be brought up to the right level, even two feet above, because that's what insurance companies will give you the best rate for," John Buechele with Higher Ground Solutions said. "It's very simple strategies for building a home that is more resilient."
The UCS provided a detailed interactive map so you can see if you live in one of the at-risk areas.
Buechele recommends homeowners install flood vents and orient their floors so the water drains out of the home faster in case of a flood. Buechele encourages home buyers to surround themselves with experts like town floodplain managers and knowledgeable construction representatives before laying the groundwork for their home.