On Virginia’s vulnerable coast, fear of flooding on the rise

In this Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016 photo, Jason Meier paints flood damaged wall studs in his flood damaged home in Virginia Beach, Va. Hundreds of homes in the area were damaged from floodwaters from the remnants of Hurricane Matthew. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — When floodwaters swamped Holly Furlong’s home in Virginia Beach in October, she rushed her four children upstairs and anxiously waited two days for the water to recede. Now she says she’s being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Virginia Beach and six neighboring cities near the Atlantic coast are seeing flood worries rise after the heavy rains — and for good reason. Experts say the land is sinking and the sea is rising at the highest rate on the East Coast. And they add there’s no easy flood-protection solution.

Flooding like that at Jason Meier’s home while he was with the Navy in the Persian Gulf have many worried. “I’m not a big proponent of global warming, but something is happening here,” says Meier, who plans to eventually move away.