New study reaffirms flooding predictions as sea levels rise

Shore Drive in Virginia Beach is flooded near the entrance to First Landing State Park on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016, following Hurricane Matthew. (Photo: WAVY/Bill Cole)

POQUOSON, Va. (AP/WAVY) — A new study reaffirms predictions that parts of coastal Virginia will face chronic flooding if nothing is done about sea-level rise.

The Union of Concerned Scientists said Wednesday that a city like Poquoson could experience routine inundation on 30 percent of its land by as soon as 2045. Nearly 20 percent of Virginia Beach could experience chronic flooding by 2080.

The group pinpointed 670 communities in the U.S. that face such a threat if sea levels rise by 6.5 feet through 2100. The study defined chronic flooding as inundation that occurs 26 times a year or more.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines inundation as water level on normally dry ground that happens from storm tide. In other words, this storm surge-driven coastal flooding.

The group said efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement could lessen the impact. President Donald Trump has said the U.S. intends to withdraw from the climate pact.