I have a good friend east of Cleveland whose parent's house was one of 4 houses to fall off of a cliff into the river behind the houses, that were all half-million Dollar houses. When the houses were built, there was a back yard over 100 to 150 feet to the drop-off down to the river, which wasn't a steep drop either. It took a flood caused by a thunderstorm stalling and dumping 10 inches of rain in an hour to begin the erosion cycle as the river changed course and began to eat away at the hillside behind the houses. They tried everything over 20 years but one by one all 4 of the houses fell off the cliff as the land behind them vanished. And I have a couple of other friends east of Cleveland who lost 150 feet of property lakefront on Lake Eire in just a few short years too. The last time that I was there, a house nearby was for sale. But it was only maybe 50 feet from the backdoor to Lake Eire, down from 200 feet 10 years earlier. And some sucker bought the place too!!!
I saw something else in Cleveland recently when I was driving through downtown on I-90. Between E. 55th and E. 72nd St north of I-90 there is an old warehouse on the quay that has been totally redone and they were selling expensive yuppie lofts there. In the January, 1978 Great Cleveland Blizzard, 25-foot "surf" driven by gale-force NE winds was coming right into the harbor and breaking right over I-90 and right through the first three stories of that old warehouse. For many years after that the building stood with the first three floors completely washed-out. And now 2000 square feet with 20 foot ceilings is $200K+ there!!! I just can't wait to watch the tears rolling down their faces the next time that a strong NE wind blows there!!!
Heck, 4 years ago here in Denver we had a thunderstorm stall-out and we got 8 inches of rain in a half hour. And in an older industrial neighborhood just north of I-70 on the east side water was 4-5 feet deep even though that neighborhood is 50 vertical feet above a creek valley with just a trickle 95% of the time!!! The storm drains were overwhelmed and the water just backed-up. There were small cars completely under water, where it had been dry an hour earlier. Been a few towns here in the mountains wiped-out by avalanches or mud slides too.
Just last Spring it was flooding in the Cedar River that left downtown Waterloo, Iowa 6 feet deep, and 7 times in the last 3 years shoreline cabins along the Rock River in Moline, Illinois have been washed away too. This isn't the first time in North Dakota either. How about all of those people who live anywhere near "Tornado Alley"??? Think that a tornado can't hit the same place twice??? Even an F2 will throw your roof several blocks down the street. I saw what was left of south Oklahoma City a week after that super-F5 hit about 10 years ago. More than a mile wide of urban mixed residential/commercial was completely gone down to the foundations on either side of I-35 including concrete warehouses. There was an entire complex of 3-story brick apartment buildings just gone down to 2 or 3 bricks high. Why rebuild it??? It will just happen again, sooner or later.
Back when Cleveland, London, New Orleans, or Fargo were built, water-borne shipping or barge access was the reason they were founded where they were at. Here in the heartland, they have been warning that the New Madrid fault is overdue for another big earthquake. In the last big earthquake the Mississippi River was thrown 5 miles out of its banks in places, and there were thousands of deaths even in 1831. Nowadays an 8.3 quake on the New Madrid fault would involve the St. Louis and Memphis metropolitan areas, along with dozens of smaller cities.
Live by the water, die by the water, just don't make everyone else pay for it when things go wrong.
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark