Allegheny Front discusses how the rustbelt and midwest cities need to plan for climate migrants.
When Chris and Kelly Noyes stepped out of their house after Hurricane Isabelle, the first thing they noticed were the trees.
“Just the amount of trees that were down, it was overwhelming,” said Kelly, describing the damage in their neighborhood. “When we walked outside after the storm, it was like you didn’t even recognize where you were.”
“It was overwhelming in that the whole area was like that,” Chris added, thinking about how far the storm reached. “So you couldn’t like, drive out, ‘oh there’s a nice place’. [It was] just everywhere.”
More than 15 million people worldwide have been displaced by weather disasters every year in the last decade. In 2018, more than a million Americans were forced to leave their homes because of natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and wildfires, all of which are expected to get worse and more frequent due to climate change. In these situations, people often return to their homes.
But people are also being displaced because of more gradual climate change impacts, like sea level rise, which is predicted to displace nearly 13 million Americans by the end of the century, according to a University of Georgia study published in Nature Climate Change.