CCAN Statement: Hurricane Florence a Reminder that Virginia Needs Long-Term Climate Mitigation and Adaptation
RICHMOND, VA — Hurricane Florence is strengthening as it is headed for North Carolina and Virginia. Governor Northam has issued a state of emergency for Virginia, ordering mandatory evacuations for nearly 250,000 residents living in the most vulnerable coastal areas.
In response, Harrison Wallace of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network stated:
“As Hurricane Florence advances towards the East Coast, Virginia finds itself reminded that a long term strategy is needed to protect our citizens from future sea level rise and larger storms. The first priority this week is obviously to prepare Virginians for the worst and address the humanitarian crisis triggered by the storm. But it is never too soon to remind ourselves that there will be future storms and future floods that can only be mitigated in a sustainable and durable fashion with a strategic coastal policy of resource investment and thoughtful protection.
“In this context, the Virginia Coastal Protection Act must be a policy option that our leaders give full attention to. This bill, which has been introduced but not yet passed over the last four years in the Virginia General Assembly, is now a top priority of Governor Ralph Northam’s administration. It would secure up to one billion dollars in coastal adaptation funding, while reducing dangerous carbon emissions, which is one of the root causes of the uptick in extreme weather and chronic flooding.”