Government Warns Villagers the Clock Is Running Out

Village Abandoned in Wales

( – Residents of a small coastal community in Wales are upset and devastated at the prospects of abandoning their exceptional community. Across the United Kingdom, half a million properties are at risk due to coastal flooding. Fairbourne is a peaceful, slow-paced, small village of around 700 residents. In 2014, the government labeled the small village the first coastal community at high risk of flooding due to climate change. The government said it can only defend the village for approximately 40 years due to rising sea levels due to an increased frequency of storms.

Built during the 1850s on a low-lying saltmarsh, Fairbourne sits below sea level at high tide. During a storm, the ocean rises as much as five feet above the village’s ground level. Scientists say over the last century, the sea rose four inches. By 2100, it could rise as much as three feet or more. While that doesn’t sound like much, Fairbourne sits at the confluence of numerous streams and rivers, making flooding an even bigger problem.

Local officials say the government doomed the village. According to them, 450 houses lost their value due to the declaration. The government organization overseeing the declaration says the village is exceptionally vulnerable. Officials added the government spent millions strengthening the sea wall, but at some point, the cost of trying to hold back the waves will exceed the value of all the properties combined.

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