Storms will cost more as sea levels rise, report warns

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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) — A new study warns that coastal flooding in Virginia will wreak more havoc on the economy in the Hampton Roads area if nothing is done about rising sea levels.

The report was released Thursday by the Virginia Coastal Policy Center at William & Mary Law School. It said a major storm will cause roughly $12 million in damage in any given year without sea-level rise. But if water levels climb by more than 3 feet by 2060 as some predict, damage could surpass $100 million.

The report does not consider the various efforts underway to combat sea-level rise and coastal flooding. But Elizabeth Andrews of the Virginia Coastal Policy Center says the study draws attention to the issue while providing important data.