If you own property along the East Coast and Gulf Coast, you'll likely see more frequent and severe flooding as ocean waters rise up to a foot over the next 20-30 years.

That's the grim picture being painted by the Union of Concerned Scientists in a study released today.

"As sea level rises higher over the next 15 to 30 years, tidal flooding is expected to occur more often, cause more disruption, and even render some areas unusable — all within the time frame of a typical home mortgage," the scientists report. "An analysis of 52 tide gauges in communities stretching from Portland, Maine to Freeport, Texas shows that most of these communities will experience a steep increase in the number and severity of tidal flooding events over the coming decades."

Since 1880 to 2009, the coast has seen large increases in sea levels. In New York City, waters have risen more than 17 inches since 1856), 13-inches in Baltimore since 1902, and 10-inches in Boston since 1921. And during the last four decades, tidal flooding events have quadrupled in frequency since 1970, according to the scientists.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has deemed many homes in coastal communities as high risk of flooding. If you own a home mapped in a high-risk category, and you have a mortgage, you are required to buy flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). These policies can be costly, but can vary depending on the amount of coverage required.

For those in low- to moderate-risk zones, flood insurance is much more affordable, and can be as low as $100-$200 depending on your coverage levels. If you obtain a policy while mapped in a low-risk or moderate-risk flood zone, your rates are grandfathered should the property later be rezoned into a high-risk area.

The report predicts that by 2030, more than half of the communities studied will witness at least two dozen tidal floods per year. Expect the frequency of flooding to move from 'occasional to chronic' during this time, the website says. Some of those communities may see the number of tidal flooding events triple, according to the site.

To read the entire report, visit the UCSUSA.org website here.

To get a flood insurance quote, give us a call at 844 232 2700.