Rising sea levels and their effects on communities


In a few short weeks I’ll be making a return trip to Virginia, which I last visited two years ago, to enjoy a few days in the area I first grew up. While a chunk of time will inevitably be spent at Busch Gardens, we’ll also spend time exploring our old neighborhoods in Hampton, Newport News and Poquoson, as well as likely taking a trip over to see Norfolk and Virginia Beach, all areas against the water with beautiful views.

As such, I find articles like the one recently published in the Washington Post about the rising waters and changes in the area to be both scary and obvious. With rising sea levels, a lot of the at or barely above sea level locations are finding themselves at risk, and as the rising levels accelerate, it will only get worse from there.

When we lived in Poquoson some 25 years ago, our house, which was built on a hill, was spared the worst of things, but we’d many times find ourselves stuck for awhile during high tide when water inevitably came up the road and made access out to the main drag impossible. During really challenging times, we’d even see the water rising up our backyard, although it never made it to the house, thanks to that hill.

We were only a mile from the water, but our neighbors had it worse, and now houses that were OK even 50 years ago will have to be raised or, worse, grazed. Such evolution has a way of changing entire communities, but I guess it’s inevitable if the waters can’t be stopped.


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