Mid-Atlantic
9th Street flooding in Ocean View during Hurricane Dorian.

VA - Yes, rising sea levels are threatening coastal areas across the US

The VERIFY Deep-Dive Team traveled to Norfolk, Va. to investigate what's causing coastal flooding and what measures are being taken to protect people.

As destructive storms cause record flooding in parts of Europe and Asia this summer, experts are warning that climate change is going to create more extreme conditions across the globe, including in the United States. Forty percent of the U.S. population lives in coastal communities, according to NOAA, and data show sea levels are rising faster than ever.

THE QUESTION

Are rising sea levels threatening coastal communities across the United States?

THE SOURCES

  • William Sweet, oceanographer with the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Ben Hamlington, research scientist and team lead of the NASA Sea Level Change Team
  • Doug Beaver, chief resilience officer for the City of Norfolk, Virginia
  • Ann Phillips, special assistant to the governor of Virginia for Coastal Adaptation and Protection
  • Jessica Whitehead, executive director of the Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience at Old Dominion University
  • Skip Stiles, executive director of Wetlands Watch
  • Karen Speights, homeowner in Norfolk, Virginia
  • Mason Andrews, homeowner in Norfolk, Virginia

THE ANSWER

Yes, rising sea levels are threatening coastal areas across the U.S., and some cities will have to spend billions of dollars to protect their communities.

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