- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia should name a leader to prepare coastal areas for flooding linked to rising sea levels, according to a new report.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports (https://bit.ly/1xaC7Jb) that the recommendation is one of about two dozen in a draft report prepared by a subpanel of the Secure Commonwealth Panel, which advises Gov. Terry McAuliffe on emergency management issues.

A resilience coordinator is needed because flooding and sea-level rise touch on numerous governmental agencies, said Jim Redick, Norfolk’s emergency-preparedness director and co-chairman of the flooding subpanel.

The report also says Virginia should identify or create a fund to help localities address flooding and rising sea levels, and should consider requiring real estate sellers to disclose the potential risk of flooding.

The report also calls for establishing a four-year plan with measurable goals for projects from educational programs to floodwalls, developing a program in which volunteers and others collect high-water marks and other data after floods and creating a website that would include a list of current and proposed projects to deal with flooding.

“None of these solutions would occur overnight,” Redick said. “There would be a phased approach to knocking these out.”

The report said Virginia should prepare for a minimum rise in sea level of 1.5 feet over the next 20 to 50 years. That is based on a 2013 study by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

The Secure Commonwealth Panel is expected to discuss the report next month. A General Assembly panel is also studying potential changes to state law to respond to the increasing flooding, and McAuliffe has appointed a commission to examine the impact of climate change on Virginia.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, https://www.timesdispatch.com


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