Climate Change Adaptation

The Town of North Kingstown was selected to participate in a pilot  project with the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center and the RI Sea Grant to study climate change and sea level rise.  This  pilot project had a goal of creating maps and on-line data display tools to identify sea level rise vulnerabilities of local assets including  public property and infrastructure, as well as community threats in  North Kingstown.  The following provides links to the RI Sea Grant page  where the final products resulting from this pilot project can be  viewed.

Building Blocks for Climate Adaptation: Tools for Community Assessment and Planning

Final Report 2015

The mapping associated with the first phase of this project provided the foundation for the STORMTOOLS mapping application.

STORMTOOLS is a method to illustrate and display storm inundation, with and without sea level rise, for different types of storms that could occur along Rhode Island’s coast line.  At the simplest level the system can be used to access flooding estimates for different areas for coastal planners and current and potential homeowners.  

Predictions are provided that show water extent and depth at any given point for nuisance floods (1, 3, 5, and 10 yr recurrence intervals) and the 25, 50, 100, and 500 year storm scenarios at the 95% confidence interval. Sea level rise of 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 feet on their own as well as combined with each storm scenario are also modeled. Flooding maps are also provided for historical hurricanes to include 1938, 1954 (Carol), 1991 (Bob), and 2012 (Sandy). 

STORMTOOLS for Beginners is a one-map stop for all residents of Rhode Island to better understand their risk from coastal inundation and get answers to 3 questions:

Is my property vulnerable to STORM SURGE?;

How DEEP will the water be on my property during a 100-year (1% chance) coastal storm?; and

Will projected SEA LEVEL RISE affect my property?

Advanced STORMTOOLS provides a series of maps that illustrate what coastal flooding could look like in the future under different storm scenarios. It enables Rhode Island’s municipal officials and decision makers to better understand their risk from coastal inundation.

STORMTOOLS is accessed online through ArcGIS.com and can be used by anyone - there is no need to download any software or go through extensive training. The maps are high resolution (1 m, 3.3 ft horizontal) and the user can type in an address or zoom to an area of interest and toggle on and off the different storm and sea level rise scenarios in order to better understand their risk.

The STORMTOOLS application is housed at the Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan’s website and can accessed here: 

STORMTOOLS