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Rising Ground Water Levels and Basement Flooding

Photograph of a section of the basement of the Turner Ingersoll Mansion
A small section of the Turner Ingersoll Mansion Basement.

Rising sea levels affect more than just ocean elevations. Because saltwater is denser than freshwater, it will flow under existing groundwater reserves, which will then rise as the freshwater is pushed upward. This leads to an increased risk of basement flooding during storms when rain and storm surges increase groundwater levels. In August 2021, the basement below the Nathaniel Hawthorne Birthplace flooded after a large rainfall event.

The Turner-Ingersoll Mansion basement, as well as the basements in many of our historic structures, houses much of the house’s utility infrastructure. Flooding would severely impact these systems. A severe flooding event would have the potential to cause irreparable damage. Steps will need to be taken to move these systems out of the basement and into other areas of the house, which will be time-consuming and costly. Flooding also accelerates rot in our important historic structures.

If you would like to support The Gables’ efforts to combat climate change, consider joining us for our Sips by the Sea annual fundraising party on September 10, 2022.

Date: September 8, 2022

Author: Holly Watson

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