Miami Beach's Road Raising, Stormwater Climate Adaptation Plan Reviewed

Miami Beach had to move on climate adaptation with streets flooding on sunny days. ULI convened a panel and gave the city a report on what could be better.


The city of Miami Beach faces regular street flooding inundations -- on stormy days and on sunny ones. Climate adaptation would have to happen, so the city embarked on ambitious $600 million stormwater management program almost as an emergency operation -- raising roads and adding stormwater infrastructure to address sea level rise as quickly as possible.

Despite the city's resilience website, Rising Above, not everyone understood the plans. One business, Sardinia, a restaurant located at 1801 Purdy Avenue, became involved in an insurance dispute in October 2016 when the restaurant flooded after heavy rainfall, according to RE: Miami Beach. With an elevated road in front of it, the insurance adjuster said the restaurant qualified as as a basement under FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program.

"My thing is that I’m a little upset because this type of work should have been done before it started… do some homework on what would happen to the property … We as a small business owner have to solve for this because you didn’t do your homework,” said Sardinia owner Tony Gallo of the city of Miami Beach.

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Others recognized that raising the roads changed their neighborhood:

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