Dr. Mason Andrews, Associate Professor at Hampton University. Photo: Hampton UniversityBy Bud Ward
26 July 2016

(ChavoBart Digital Media) – Norfolk, Virginia is home to the world’s largest naval base. But now it’s also known for repeated flooding.

Mason Andrews of Hampton University works with her students to identify solutions – like rain barrels – that help Norfolk residents live with the encroaching water. She says the water is rising for a number of reasons. For starters, the city is sinking.

ANDREWS: “Part of that’s left over from the ice age and part of it has to do with bad habits of drawing down water from our aquifers.”

The city was built on fill dirt, which wicks water up from below and sinks faster than the rest of the area. And when wind blows from the northeast for several days in a row, it prevents high tides from going back out to sea.

Norfolk would be in trouble even if climate change weren’t a factor. But rising seas and more intense storms are making the problem worse.

ANDREWS: “Here in Norfolk, we’re sort of the canary in the coal mine.” [more]

Norfolk Prepares for Sea-Level Rise and More



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