Flooding from storm surges on the P.E.I. shoreline is going to become more common and get more expensive, says Jeff Ollerhead, dean of science at Mount Allison University.

'Do you want to spend that kind of money, knowing the costs are just going to keep going up?' — Jefff Ollerhead

Ollerhead told CBC News Friday the sea level around P.E.I. has been rising for centuries, but over the last few decades it has been going up more rapidly. He said the province can spend money on repairs, but the end result will always be the same.

"The apparent inundation and the magnitude of inundation is just going to keep going up and up and up," said Ollerhead.

"As water level rises, a storm that might have flooded a particular area once every 50 years is going to start to flood it every 20 years. So, social question: do you want to spend that kind of money, knowing the costs are just going to keep going up?"

Ollerhead said the province faces a choice. The government can keep spending large amounts of money to repair the damage caused by storm surges, or Islanders can stop building too close to the shore.