Virginia’s New Normal

If you have felt like the number and severity of storms has intensified in Virginia over the last decade, you are not alone. FEMA and the Department of Agriculture have both released studies proving that within the last several years in particular, Virginia has endured an increased number of harsh floods and tropical storms. In a recent survey, researchers found that 91% of Virginians have been impacted in someway by dangerous weather at home since 2010. Scientists and many others fear that the situation could worsen if things do not change. It is important that residents stop denying science and embrace reality. If changes are not made analysts predict that between $12-87 billion worth of damage could occur before the end of the century to the state for lovers. “This is not a tomorrow issue, but a today issue.” Systems need to be in place to protect military bases, homes, and businesses across the state.

Many residents are pushing for clean energy legislation. Recently, Virginia announced that it is constructing the state’s first wind farm. The wind farm will aide in cutting back wasteful energy spending. Also, an expansion of solar fields in Northern Virginia were approved. Even though these are big advancements towards a greener Virginia, there is more that can be done. Lives are at risk. Governor McAuliffe said recently that he will continue to work hard on pushing Virginia to closer align with the government’s pending Clean Power Plan. This bill is currently waiting to be approved by the Supreme Court, which will eventually require all states to follow strict green policy initiatives. McAuliffe aims to have Virginia 100% dependent on clean renewable energy.

There are several projects already in progress dedicated to protecting Virginians. Virginia received a $840,000 grant to confront the threats of rising sea levels. After experiencing such severe weather patterns over the last couple years, people are learning adjustments need to be made in all different areas. Builders and construction workers in Virginia are beginning to construct sturdier homes and buildings. Not that the buildings were not safe before, but now they are specially designed to withstand stronger storms. Also, when developing these new homes builders are using greener alternatives. These greener options are in practice and material.

Observing a growing demand, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has began stocking vital household items incase of a storm. The idea to begin receiving necessities was formed after several tornadoes crashed through Virginia in February. In January, during winter storm Jonas Virginia was hit the hardest compared to surrounding states having received over 40 inches of snow. The DOABC will also be providing transportation assistance for those impacted by disasters in Virginia, and repair and help reconstruct underinsured homes.

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