HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – We already know flooding is a serious issue for Norfolk, but a new report from NOAA shows it’s only going to get worse in the coming years.
NOAA issued a new tidal flooding report Tuesday which suggests Norfolk could see additional flooding every year due to increases in tidal flooding, which is happening across the country.
The report compared 2022 with projections for 2050. It says the Hampton Roads region currently sees 10-15 days of high tide flooding on average annually. By 2050, scientists predict 85-125 days a year of high tide flooding. Those numbers do not include flooding from storms and wind surge.
High tide flooding is defined by NOAA as the overflow or excess accumulation of ocean water at high tide that covers low-lying areas, and typically occurs when tides reach anywhere from 1.75 to 2 feet above the daily average high tide and start spilling onto streets or bubbling up from storm drains.
NOAA has 97 tide gauges along the U.S. Coast. For the Norfolk area, the data comes from the gauge at Sewells Point .
“As sea levels continue to rise, NOAA is committed to working with coastal communities to provide the tide gauge information and tools they need to tackle the problem, both now and in coming years,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service.
NOAA created an online tool that allows you to visualize community-level impacts of seal level rise and potential coastal flooding impact areas.
Coastal areas like Norfolk and New Orleans are among the most vulnerable for sea level rise.
The Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund (CFPF) was created in 2020 and allows community members to apply for grants that address the effects of flooding, sea-level rise and extreme weather. There have been three rounds of grants to date.