Norfolk is only a few feet above sea level. The same is true about the rest of the urbanized Hampton Roads area, including Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Hampton, Poquoson, Newport News, and Gloucester.
If current trends continue, the question is not "will Norfolk (and the rest of Hampton Roads) drown?" but "when will Norfolk, Tangier Island, Chincoteague, and other locations near sea level drown - and what should be the response to this threat in coastal areas?"
It is unrealistic to expect owners of private property along the shoreline to passively accept that valuable land, houses, and businesses will wash away in the next century and that no action should be taken to protect current infrastructure. When we buy bananas at the store, we don't expect them to last forever - but the American image of land is that it should last forever, and government agencies should respond when natural processes threaten the value of real estate.
However, taxpayers living away from the coastal zone may object to subsidizing insurance and disaster relief costs for coastal communities, especially expensive waterfront homes built in areas of known risk. If Federal and state funding will be provided, should it finance seawalls, groins, and other shoreline hardening techniques to mitigate impacts in the next 25-50 years, or should government investments focus now on moving existing structures away from the high-risk areas over the next 100 years?
Should local cities/counties that issue building permits require that all new structures near the shoreline must be built even higher that the current National Flood Insurance Program maps mandate, just in case predictions of a speedup in sea level rise (compared to historical rates) comes true? How should government agencies deal with old infrastructure, such as sewers, that are at risk from flooding as sea levels continue to rise?
Undeveloped places, such as the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park, will also be affected. Should places with just plants and animals be sacrificed as the waters rise, so funding can be directed towards urbanized site and shoreline houses? Or should we consciously decide to retreat from the shore,line, removing buildings and converting now-developed parcels into parkland as part of a "managed retreat" strategy over the next 50 years?
egret trying to feed from bulkhead (hardened shoreline)
Source: US Fish and Wildlife Service, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan
The Hurricane Flooding and Tidal Surge maps from the Hampton Roads Emergency Management Committee show that a storm surge from a Category 3 hurricane would affect much of the Hampton Roads area. Flood waters could inundate large portions of the developed shoreline, if the moon and tides push tides to their maximum height when a storm arrives.1
Half the residents in Hampton Roads, especially those in Virginia Beach/Norfolk, are supposed to evacuate on I-64 through the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel. Special gates have been installed on access ramps so every lane of the interstate could be used to move people east past Williamsburg. However, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will close bridges and tunnels connecting South Hampton Roads to the Peninsula once sustained winds reach 45mph.2
The storm surge from a Category 1 hurricane is projected to cover I-64 on Willoughby Spit, blocking evacuation by car through the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel. Hampton Roads residents will need to be convinced to leave Norfolk/Virginia Beach long before any major storm arrives, if the plans for moving people out of the danger zone are going to succeed.
Hurricanes are fueled by warm water, so a Category 5 storm could impact Florida or the Gulf Coast. Emergency management professionals do not consider seriously the impact of Category 5 storms hitting Norfolk/Virginia Beach; the Commonwealth of Virginia Storm Surge Inundation Maps only consider Category 1-4 hurricanes.
Category 5 hurricanes at Chesapeake Bay are unexpected because of the latitude and the pattern of ocean currents. Hurricanes lose energy as they move north and encounter colder water. Even with the Gulf Stream, the ocean at 36 degrees 30 minutes of latitude (the Virginia-North Carolina border) is too cold for a hurricane to reach Virginia with enough energy to qualify as Category 5. However, climate change could lead to warmer water moving north, which could lead to more-intense hurricanes striking Virginia.
Some Category 5 storms hit the Gulf Coast and then move inland to Virginia, such as Hurricane Camille in 1969. The winds drop to tropical storm status as the weather system travels over land from the Gulf of Mexico to Virginia, but the storms can still drop massive amounts of rain and cause death and destruction in the Blue Ridge.
When a hurricane arrives, local officials can issue mandatory evacuation orders. For example, the City of Virginia Beach declared a Local Emergency when Hurricane Irene came ashore at Cape Hatteras, N.C. in August 2011. That storm was Category 1, after weakening just before landfall, but still caused nearly $60 million in damage in Virginia. The Federal government declared that 48 Virginia jurisdictions qualified for Public Assistance, which authorizes Federal funding for emergency response and repair/replacement/restoration of publicly-owned facilities and the facilities of certain non-profits.3
The National Flood Insurance Program, managed by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), provides coverage for damage to individual properties caused by floods. Private insurers will issue policies that deal with the risks from fire, wind, or visitors tripping on the front steps, but the premiums and deductibles reflect the different risks in different locations. House insurance premiums for Hampton Roads homeowners are roughly twice as high, compared to premiums for houses located in Alexandria and Roanoke.4
In addition to purchasing homeowners insurance, financial institutions that issue mortgages require a high percentage of Hampton Roads homeowners to purchase separate flood insurance policies. Standard homeowners insurance policies cover damage caused by a water pipe break within the house, but do not pay for damage caused by external floods. Flood Insurance Rate Maps produced by FEMA define a Special Flood Hazard Area, the area that has a 1% or greater annual chance of flooding (i.e., 100-year flood plain).
The cost of a National Flood Insurance Program policy for an individual property is tied to the risk of flooding at that specific location, and the elevation of the structure. Houses receive an Elevation Certificate, determining its height above/below the Base Flood Elevation with a 1% or greater annual chance of flooding. For years, flood insurance rates were subsidized for 20% of the policies and did not reflect actual risk, or future risk from sea level rise. A 1991 FEMA report on the predicted impacts of sea level rise noted that nearly 20% more land would be at risk by a 1-foot rise in sea level, and nearly 40% more by a 3-foot rise:5
Insurance rates were too low to pay for claims (especially after the hurricanes in 2005, including Katrina), and Congress had to appropriate supplemental funding to bail out the insurance program. Subsidized insurance reduced the motivation of property owners to move out of high-risk floodzones. In addition, disaster recovery after tropical storms, hurricanes, and other events (such as Superstorm Sandy in 2012) is also funded largely by the Federal government. Low-cost Federal flood insurance and the expectation of "free" Federal funding after a disaster reduced the pressure on homeowners to minimize risk. State/local government officials could encourage development in high-risk areas, since much of future disaster recovery costs would be funded by the Federal government.
In 2012, the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act finally modified flood insurance rates to reflect full risk, phasing out most subsidies. FEMA ended the old pattern of maintaining low, "grandfathered" rates when Flood Insurance Rate Maps were updated to reflect higher risks. Starting in 2012, FEMA began to apply new rates that reflected actual risk after adoption of a new Flood Insurance Rate Map, with the higher rates gradually phased in.6
Cities in Hampton Roads could start now and replan/rezone areas at risk, to replace existing structures that might flood with open space (such as ballfields and waterfront parks) over the next 50 years. Reducing density of development in high-risk areas would be expensive, and alter tax revenues. Such a strategy requires either a long-term perspective, or a stimulus of some sort to alter current patterns of development.
In 2012, an international insurance executive spoke at a forum on how climate change affects flooding risk, as part of the Old Dominion University Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative. After a tour of Norfolk, she questioned why local governments are increasing risk by ignoring predictions of higher floodzones, approving new development in areas that will be affected if sea level rises:7
State Corporation Commission, which regulates insurance in Virginia, must ensure insurance companies will be able to pay off all claims if a catastrophe does occur. Insurance companies focus on selected areas, establishing a network of agents and concentrating advertising in particular markets. However, if a "singularity" (such as a hurricane) occurs, then a company could be overwhelmed by the number of claims. In 2007, Allstate announced it would maintain policies of existing customers in 19 Virginia counties, but would write no new policies in order to minimize the risk associated with hurricane damage. (By 2013, Allstate had reentered the market, but with greater selectivity in choosing what sites to insure.)8
It is in the interest of the State of Virginia to have insurance companies hedge their bets, and have only so many policies in one geographic area. To avoid the risk that an insurance company will go bankrupt rather than pay all potential claims, insurers who write many policies in one area will obtain re-insurance, basically buying coverage from other companies. That technique reduces profits, but spreads the risk. While hurricanes may be a low-probability of risk in Hampton Roads, they are not a zero-probability risks.
area predicted to be flooded in Portsmouth, by storm surge from Category 1-4 hurricanes
Source: City of Portsmouth Land Information System (click on images for larger versions)
There are three significant threats to Hampton Roads that the insurance companies and banks (as well as government agencies) have to consider: hurricanes, sea level rise, and tsunamis.
Hurricane: Massive rainfall from a storm can overwhelm the stormwater management systems in urbanized areas, as Hurricane Floyd demonstrated in 1999 when it swamped the city of Franklin and tropical storm Gaston did to Richmond's Shockoe Valley in 2004. In 2003, winds from Hurricane Isabel wrecked utility systems throughout the Coastal Plain of Virginia, leaving some people without electricity for two weeks. In 2011, Hurricane Irene blasted Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Northern Virginia east of I-95.
If a hurricane brings a storm surge of 6-8 feet into the region, much of Virginia Beach and Norfolk will be underwater due to the storm surge, the rise in sea level associated with the lower barometric pressure in the eye of the hurricane. Tidewater officials track hurricanes as closely as the officials in Florida or North Carolina, where most hurricanes come ashore on the East Coast, but no hurricane came ashore directly in Virginia in the 1900's.9
But inevitably, one is headed into the Chesapeake Bay. To prepare for evacuation, the state has designated hurricane evacuation routes for getting people out of the Hampton Roads area. The evacuation plan requires reversing eastbound I-64 to double the number of escape lanes headed west; there are gates on all interchanges between the high ground east of Williamsburg (I-295) and Hampton.
The Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences (VIMS) has even considered building a 24-mile long barrier at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, parallel to the bridge-tunnel, to block hurricane-caused storm surges. First step is to create computer models to assess potential designs and environmental impacts. The academic exercise requires making no decisions; the tough cjoices regarding costs vs. benefits (and how to ensure US Navy warships would never be trapped inside Hampton Roads) come later.10
Sea Level Rise: At various times, the Atlantic Ocean has been higher and Norfolk has been underwater - that's why there are whale fossils from the Miocene Period found in sand/gravel deposits on the Coastal Plain. Since the end of the last ice age, the shoreline of Virginia has moved westward as the Atlantic Ocean has expanded and covered the continental shelf. The Native Americans who first settled Virginia camped on a different Atlantic Ocean coastline during their hunting and gathering expeditions. Their first campsites are probably 30-50 miles offshore now, under 100 feet of saltwater and recent sediments.
Continued global warming could melt remaining ice on Antarctica and Greenland, adding more water to the oceans. A warmer atmosphere will warm up the water in the oceans, causing them to expand. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects an absolute sea level rise of 1-3 feet in the next 100 years.11
There may be a "hotspot" for unusually rapid sea level rise in Virginia and further north if warmer, fresher ocean water alters the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Current, which currently depress sea level along the shoreline north of Cape Hatteras.12
The worst case scenario: if the West Antarctic Ice Sheet melts, sea level could rise 10-20 feet.13
The Town of Tangier, on a small island in the Chesapeake Bay, may be the first incorporated Virginia jurisdiction to disappear because of sea level rise. Several barrier island communities have been abandoned in the past, including Wash Woods in what is today's False Cape State Park. Residents of Hog Island, on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Eastern Shore, moved to Willis Wharf in Northampton County after a hurricane in 1933 flooded the island. Today, the island is a nature preserve, part of the Virginia Coast Reserve owned by The Nature Conservancy.14
Ever since the first Paleo-Indians arrived in Virginia, rising sea levels have been forcing humans to move their communities back from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. However, the shifting shorelines that spurred abandonment of Hog Island may be triggered by normal barrier island sand migration, rather than increasing sea levels. An archeologist working on the Eastern Shore has commented:15
The City of Poquoson is another Virginia jurisdiction that might have to be abandoned, if sea level does rise three feet in the next 100 years. Poquoson's Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan, when updated in 2009, acknowledged the risk.
According to the plan, "the majority of the City is less than seven feet NGVD" (National Geodetic Vertical Datum). In 2008, Poquoson made the risk of sea level rise a "critical hazard requiring mitigation." The slow, incremental rise is not the concern - the fear is that, because of the gradual sea level rise, a future storm will create a surge of high water that could cause great damage in just one day:16
In addition to sea level rising, the land in the lower Chesapeake Bay is subsiding. The drop in the level of the land is caused by one or more of the following reasons:
If the land subsidence trends continue, Hampton Roads will experience 0.4-3.3 feet of land subsidence over the next century.17
As described in "The State of the Region: Hampton Roads 2009" report:18
How will the tourism and real estate industries in coastal areas of Virginia be affected? One option is to harden the shoreline with seawalls or levees, building a protective ring around developed areas in the same way New Orleans is protected. That is the response being taken by the US Government at Wallops Island, to protect National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s facilities. In 2012 the Federal government built a 14-foot high seawall, and widened the beach 82 feet to reduce the energy of ocean waves before they strike the hard barrier.19
A sea wall to protect key portions of Norfolk would cost about $1 billion. A sea wall for Virginia Beach would be less suitable, since the city's tourist business is based on access to a sandy beach. A levee or barrier on the current dune line might limit future storm damage to structures along Atlantic Avenue, but block the beach from migrating naturally - and continuing to exist as a wide beach as sea levels rise. As an economist and former president of Old Dominion University described it:20
Beach replenishment is only a short-term solution for Virginia Beach. Within 100 years, assuming sea level keeps rising as predicted, the current location of the sandy beach will be completely underwater and the shoreline will have moved west. The City of Virginia Beach has the option of "strategic retreat," sacrificing the developed areas along the shoreline and removing the hotels along Atlantic Avenue to allow the beach to migrate naturally. As sea levels keep rising, the city could remove the next block of developed property along Pacific Avenue and the new shoreline.
Strategic retreat avoids the cost of building and maintaining structures. On the undeveloped Atlantic Coast shoreline of Virginia's Eastern Shore, allowing the water to rise would have minimal impact on property values. However, Tangier Island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay is at high risk:21
Norfolk is preparing for both adaptation and strategic retreat. The city is identifying neighborhoods along the Lafayette River that could be abandoned rather than protected by seawalls, and considering using city funds to purchase and destroy 20 homes near Norfolk State University. The Chrysler Museum in the Ghent neighborhood spent $24 million to upgrade the facility in 2012-14, and moved all electrical and other equipment out of its basement in anticipation of future flooding. Norfolk was the third city in the world to hire a full-time "chief resilience officer," and local environmentalists have joked about the business opportunities:24
proposed hardening of shoreline and pumps to protect against coastal flooding/tidal surge at The Hague, near Ghent neighborhood in Norfolk
Source: City of Norfolk, Coastal Flooding Mitigation (presented to Expert Advisory Panel, February 16, 2012)
In addition to Virginia Beach and the Eastern Shore, other jurisdictions inland from the Atlantic Ocean will be affected if predicted sea level rise occurs. The Chickahominy River water supply for Newport News could become more saline, increasing the cost for the utility to produce drinking water for the area. In 2011, the US Geological Survey assessed potential impacts and determined:27
If predictions of accelerating sea level rise come true, Norfolk will be abandoned or sea walls will surround it and the Coastal Plain will be flooded further inland. At the 500th anniversary of the English colonial settlement at Jamestown, the historic old capital of Virginia might be a barrier island, a mud flat, or fish habitat - and the ruins of Norfolk could lie underneath sediments accumulating on the continental shelf.
The water table in Tidewater is rising as the wedge of seawater pushes westward. A seawall at Jamestown might block a storm surge like the one from Hurricane Isabel that flooded the visitor center/museum and caused $20 million in damages, but groundwater levels will rise high enough to flood the site in 50-100 years. Archeologists traditionally leave some areas unexcavated, waiting for new scientific techniques to be developed, but are now suggesting all artifacts at Jamestown should be removed soon. One climate scientist from the Virginia Institute for Marine Science (VIMS) expects Jamestown to disappear in a century:28
Tsunami: A tsunami is a big wave, a very, very big wave. In a worst case scenario, Hampton Roads could be devastated by such a wave that might be generated in three different ways:
Landslide: There is a very slim possibility that a catastrophic collapse of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands, off the coast of northwestern Africa, could create a tsunami that would affect Norfolk and other points on the eastern coastline of North America. The 1964 Alaskan earthquake created a killer tsunami far away at Crescent City, California; an underwater quake near Indonesia in December, 2004 created a tsunami that killed people all the way across the Indian Ocean in Kenya.
A Discovery Channel program claimed that a tsunami created by a landslide on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean could threaten the United States. The Tsunami Society responded with:29
a 6-foot high tsunami would devastate much of Hampton Roads
Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA/CIRES Scientists Help Prepare Virginia Beach For Tsunami, Storm-Driven Flooding
Another Bolide: A third potential source of a tsunami is an impact by a bolide (meteor or comet) into the ocean near Virginia.
Could such a wave reach the base of the Blue Ridge, as shown in the 1998 movie Deep Impact? Yes - 35 million years ago, a bolide landing in the Atlantic Ocean off the coastline of Virginia created such a series of tsunamis that swashed back and forth, quickly filling the crater created by the impact. According to the US Geological Survey:32
In the Hollywood movie, the final scene was filmed near Gainesville on the Prince William Parkway, which was then under construction. As the water washed inland, the key characters fled up a mountainside. Judging from the species of pine trees, the up-the-mountain scene was filmed in California. Unfortunately for those on the eastern edge of Virginia, there are no mountains - other than the old landfill in Virginia Beach known as Mount Trashmore.
only in Hollywood are there mountains within 6 miles of Virginia Beach
Source: The Rellim Zone, Movie Review – Deep Impact (1998)
In 2006, Norfolk became the first East Coast city to earn recognition by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as "TsunamiReady/Storm Ready." According to the local paper, the city official responsible for disaster preparedness:33
In fact, a tsunami did strike the East Coast on June 13, 2013, triggered perhaps by a landslide off the New Jersey coast or by air pressure changes associated with a localized "derecho" storm. Three people were swept off a jetty in New Jersey into the ocean from rocks that were 5-6 feet above sea level. Further south on the Eastern Shore of Virginia at Kiptopeke, the water gauge recorded an increase in water height 25 centimeters (10 inches) above average. That change was one of the highest recorded from the unusual event, but at Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel the increase was only 7 centimeters.34
References1. "Assessing Vulnerability to Hurricane Flooding," Hampton Roads Emergency Management Committee, http://www2.hremc.org/surge.htm (last checked August 26, 2011)
2. "Hurricane Evacuation Guide," Virginia Department of Transportation, http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/hurricane_evacuation_guide_vdot%27s_bridge_tunnel_and_ferry_closure_plan.asp (last checked August 26, 2011)
3. "Virginia Hurricane Irene Major Disaster Declared September 3, 2011 (DR-4024)," Federal Emergency Management Administration, http://www.fema.gov/news/eventcounties.fema?id=15594; "Hurricane Irene News Release: Governor McDonnell Announces Nine More Localities Approved for Federal Disaster Assistance for Irene," Office of the Governor, September 29, 2011, http://hurricaneirene-va.tumblr.com/ (last checked June 21, 2012)
4. "Getting insurance along the coast is getting pricey," The Virginian-Pilot, June 8, 2013, http://hamptonroads.com/node/679885 (last checked June 8, 2013)
5. "Flood Insurance: Public Policy Goals Provide a Framework for Reform," GAO-11-429T, testimony before the Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing, and Community Opportunity, Committee on Financial Services, House of Representatives by the Government Accountability Office on March 11, 2011, http://www.gao.gov/assets/130/125706.pdf; "Projected Impact of Relative Sea Level Rise on the National Flood Insurance Program," Federal Emergency Mananagement Agency, October 1991, http://papers.risingsea.net/Flood-Insurance.html (last checked June 8, 2013)
6. "Questions about the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012," Federal Emergency Management Agency, April, 2013, http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=7266 (last checked June 8, 2013)
7. Lindene Patton, chief climate product officer for Zurich Financial, "CCSLRI Speaker Calls for Public-Private Cooperation on Climate Change Adaptation," News @ Old Dominion, February 15, 2012, http://www.odu.edu/ao/news/index.php?todo=details&todo=details&id=31568 (last checked June 20, 2012)
8. "Allstate's 'Good Hands' Wave 'Bye Bye'," CBS News, February 11, 2009, http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500395_162-2291780.html; Skip Stiles, "Climate Change,Sea Level Rise, and Virginia’s Tidal Shoreline," presentation at Virginia Coastal Partners Workshop, December 6, 2010, http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Portals/0/DEQ/CoastalZoneManagement/2010cpw-stiles.pdf; "Getting insurance along the coast is getting pricey," The Virginian-Pilot, June 8, 2013, http://hamptonroads.com/node/679885 (last checked June 8, 2013)
9. "Virginia Hurricane History," NOAA/ National Weather Service, http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/research/roth/vahur.htm (last checked August 26, 2011)
10. "Study investigates Chesapeake Bay storm-surge wall," The Virginian-Pilot, July 17, 2014, http://hamptonroads.com/node/722706 (last checked July 17, 2014)
11. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007, "Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report," Table SPM.1., http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/spms3.html#table-spm-1 (last checked August 28, 2011)
12. Asbury H. Sallenger Jr, Kara S. Doran and Peter A. Howd, "Hotspot of accelerated sea-level rise on the Atlantic coast of North America," Nature Climate Change, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1597 (last checked June 23, 2012)
13. "Collapse Of Antarctic Ice Sheet Would Likely Put Washington, D.C. Largely Underwater," ScienceDaily, February 6, 2009, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090205142132.htm; Jonathan L. Bamber, Riccardo E. M. Riva, Bert L. A. Vermeersen, Anne M. LeBrocq. "Reassessment of the Potential Sea-Level Rise from a Collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet," Science, May 15, 2009: Vol. 324 no. 5929 pp. 901-903, http://www.sciencemag.org/content/324/5929/901.short (last checked April 22, 2012)
14. "Whatever happened to ... church and cemetery of Wash Woods?," The Virginian-Pilot, June 9, 2008, http://hamptonroads.com/2008/06/whatever-happened-church-and-cemetery-wash-woods; "The Eastern Shore island left behind," The Virginian-Pilot, January 16, 2011, http://hamptonroads.com/2011/01/eastern-shore-island-left-behind (last checked July 7, 2012)
15. "Rising seas, development are altering prehistoric artifacts in the Chesapeake’s tidal zone," Smithsonian Science, January 9, 2012, http://smithsonianscience.org/2012/01/rising-seas-development-are-altering-prehistoric-artifacts-along-the-chesapeakes-coast/ (last checked July 7, 2012)
16. "City of Poquoson, Virginia Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan," September 14, 2009, http://www.ci.poquoson.va.us/pdf/City%20of%20Poquoson%20FINAL%20to%20FEMA%20RIII%20091409.pdf (last checked September 21, 2011)
17. Chesapeake Bay Land Subsidence and Sea Level Change: An Evaluation of Past and Present Trends and Future Outlook, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) Special Report No. 425, p.18-22, November 2010, http://web.vims.edu/GreyLit/VIMS/sramsoe425.pdf (last checked August 28, 2011)
18. Koch, James V., "The State of the Region: Hampton Roads 2009," p. 106, http://www.jamesvkoch.com/uploads/2009_State_of_the_Region_Final.pdf (last checked September 25, 2011)
19. "New beach/seawall vital for facility's ability to lift off," US Army Corps of Engineers, April 17, 2012, http://www.nao.usace.army.mil/News/20120417_Vital_SeaWall.asp; David B. King Jr., Donald L. Ward, Greggory G. Williams, Mark H. Hudgins, "Storm Damage Reduction Project Design for Wallops Island, Virginia," Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) Wallops Flight Facility Shoreline Restoration and Infrastructure Protection Program, January, 2010, http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/code250/docs/SRIPP_EIS_Appendix_A.pdf (last checked July 7, 2012)
20. James V. Koch, Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy Vol. 40 No. 1 (2010), p.58-59, http://www.jrap-journal.org/pastvolumes/2010/v40/koch40_1_pdf.pdf (last checked June 1, 2012)
21. "Governments Plan for Development of Land Vulnerable to Rising Sea Level: Accomack County, Virginia," in The Likelihood of Shore Protection: Accomack County, Virginia, http://risingsea.net/ERL/VA_Accomack.html (last checked July 7, 2012)
22. J. G. Titus et al., "State and local governments plan for development of most land vulnerable to rising sea level along the US Atlantic coast," Environmental Research Letters, Supplementary Materials - Table S8. Area of Land within One Meter above High Water by Intensity of Development along US Atlantic Coast (km2), http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/4/4/044008/media/erl9_4_044008supp.pdf; "Dark days ahead financially if there's major flooding," The Virginian-Pilot, August 4, 2014, http://hamptonroads.com/node/724394 (last checked August 5, 2014)
23. "In Norfolk, evidence of climate change is in the streets at high tide," Washington Post, May 31, 2014, http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/in-norfolk-evidence-of-climate-change-is-in-the-streets-at-high-tide/2014/05/31/fe3ae860-e71f-11e3-8f90-73e071f3d637_story.html; "Enough talk about sea level rise, now it's time for solutions," Hampton Roads Inside Business, June 30, 2014, http://insidebiz.com/node/402041 (last checked July 1, 2014)
24. "Built on sinking ground, Norfolk tries to hold back tide amid sea-level rise," The Washington Post, June 17, 2012, http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/built-on-sinking-ground-norfolk-tries-to-hold-back-tide-amid-sea-level-rise/2012/06/17/gJQADUsxjV_story_2.html; "Rising tide in Norfolk, Va.," Public Broadcasting System (PBS), April 27, 2012, http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/environment/rising-tide-in-norfolk-va/13739/; "Preparing for rising floodwaters was a top goal in $24 million renovation of Chrysler Museum," Hampton Roads Business Journal, May 15, 2014, http://insidebiz.com/node/393741; "Norfolk hires chief officer for 'catastrophic events'," The Virginian-Pilot, June 28, 2014, http://hamptonroads.com/2014/06/norfolk-hires-chief-officer-catastrophic-events; "Officials work to find profitability in sea level rise," The Virginian-Pilot, October 22, 2014, http://hamptonroads.com/node/732788 (last checked October 21, 2014)
25. "Coastal N.C. counties fighting sea-level rise prediction," Charlotte Observer, May. 28, 2012, http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/05/25/3265614/coastal-nc-counties-fighting-sea.html; "Sea Level Rise," NC-20, http://www.nc-20.com/sealevelrise.htm (last checked June 1, 2012)
26. "Lawmakers avoid buzzwords on climate change bills," The Virginian-Pilot, June 10, 2012, http://hamptonroads.com/2012/06/lawmakers-avoid-buzzwords-climate-change-bills (last checked June 23, 2012)
27. Karen C. Rice, Mark R. Bennett, Jian Shen, "Simulated Changes in Salinity in the York and Chickahominy Rivers from Projected Sea-Level Rise in Chesapeake Bay," US Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011–1191, September 2011, http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2011/1191/ (last checked January 31, 2013)
28. "With Rising Seas, America's Birthplace Could Disappear," National Public Radio, May 14, 2013, http://www.npr.org/2013/05/14/178809495/with-rising-seas-americas-birthplace-could-disappear; "Report: Rising sea levels threaten Virginia landmarks," The Virginian-Pilot, May 20, 2014, http://hamptonroads.com/node/716997; "National Landmarks at Risk: How Rising Seas, Floods, and Wildfires Are Threatening the United States' Most Cherished Historic Sites," Union of Concerned Scientists, May 2014, http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/impacts/national-landmarks-at-risk-from-climate-change.html (last checked May 20, 2014)
29. "What is a mega-tsunami and can it happen today?," International Tsunami Information Center, http://itic.ioc-unesco.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1203 (last checked October 21, 2014)
30. "Can It Happen Here?," US Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program, http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/canit.php; "US East Coast Faces Variety of Tsunami Threats," Our Amazing Planet, http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/3774-east-coast-tsunamis.html (last checked January 31, 2013)
31. Matthew J. Hornbach, Luc L. Lavier, Carolyn D. Ruppe, "Triggering mechanism and tsunamogenic potential of the Cape Fear Slide complex, U.S. Atlantic margin," Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, Volume 8 Issue 12 (December 2007), p.12, http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2007GC001722 (last checked June 11, 2013)
32. D.S. Powars, T.S. Bruce, "The Effects of the Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater on the Geologic Framework and the Correlation of Hydrogeologic Units of Southeastern Virginia, South of the James River," US geological Survey Professional Paper 1622, 1999, http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1612/powars.html (last checked August 27, 2012)
33. "Norfolk is tsunami-ready and has a sign to prove it," The Virginian-Pilot, January 10, 2006, http://hamptonroads.com.nyud.net/node/47021 (last checked September 25, 2011)
34. "TSUNAMI of 13 June, 2013 (Northwestern Atlantic Ocean)," West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Weather Service, http://oldwcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/previous.events/06-13-13/index.php (last checked July 3, 2013)
Floods and Floodplains
Chesapeake Geology and Sea Level Rise
Tsunamis in Virginia