Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Flooding Problems at Washington, DC, Landmarks Likely to Worsen

Climate
Flooding Problems at Washington, DC, Landmarks Likely to Worsen
Flooding in Washington, DC in 2018. Bill Chizek / iStock / Getty Images Plus



George Washington lived much of his life near the Potomac River – from his birthplace in Colonial Beach, Virginia, to his estate at Mount Vernon. And he chose where along the river's banks the young nation would build its capital city.

But as the climate warms, this historic river poses a flooding risk to nearby landmarks.

Steve Walz is director of environmental programs at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

He says increasingly intense rainstorms upstream can cause the river to overflow.

And when a hurricane hits the Eastern Seaboard, there is a risk of coastal flooding from storm surges coming up the river.

"And as the river narrows, the water levels get even higher in our region than in some of the coastal regions along the Atlantic," Walz says.

Even without extreme weather, sea levels are rising and pushing the river closer to flood stage.

Walz says that parts of the National Mall, the Old Town neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia, and the George Washington Memorial Parkway already have flooding problems, and they're likely to get worse.

"So there's a broad range of infrastructure and other treasures here in the Washington region that can be at risk," he says.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy / ChavoBart Digital Media.

Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

An Edith's Checkerspot butterfly in Los Padres National Forest in Southern California. Patricia Marroquin / Moment / Getty Images

Butterflies across the U.S. West are disappearing, and now researchers say the climate crisis is largely to blame.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A wildfire burns in the Hollywood hills on July 19, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AaronP / Bauer-Griffin / GC Images

California faces another "critically dry year" according to state officials, and a destructive wildfire season looms on its horizon. But in a state that welcomes innovation, water efficacy approaches and drought management could replenish California, increasingly threatened by the climate's new extremes.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Wisdom is seen with her chick in Feb. 2021 at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Jon Brack / Friends of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge / Flickr / CC 2.0

Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.

Read More Show Less
Wind turbines in Norway. piola66 / E+ / Getty Images

By Hui Hu

Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.

Read More Show Less
Jaffa Port in Israel. theDOCK innovated the Israeli maritime space and kickstarted a boom in new technologies. Pixabay

While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.

Read More Show Less