The water comes slowly at first. The skies open up in the afternoon now. People start avoiding certain streets at high tide. The nuisances pile up. Houses get raised, then raised again. Insurance people are talking about “repetitive loss properties.” Homeowners are worrying.
Or the water comes suddenly. In the high tide during a nor’easter that breaks records. Or in the sudden downpour that causes rivers to overrun their banks yet again. Or in the hurricane that floods neighborhoods that never flooded before. The city stops servicing some of the roads by the beach. And people start saying, “It’s just not worth it.”
Or the water doesn’t come at all. The drought pushes people off their farms or out of their traditional pasturing lands. It pushes them into cities. Then protests start. Then the crackdown. Then people flee.