Storms and Rising Seas: Norfolk Naval Shipyard at Risk

Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia is an essential maintenance facility for the nation’s fleet of nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers. And it’s facing an existential threat.

Rising seas will likely engulf the shipyard by century’s end, but the reckoning could come much sooner. It’s “going to disappear” unless the Pentagon acts quickly to protect it, said Ray Mabus, Navy secretary under President Barack Obama. An even bigger worry is the next big storm. A hurricane with a direct hit at the strength of this year’s Florence or Michael would be catastrophic for the facility.

“It would certainly put the shipyard out of business for some amount of time,” Mabus said. “That has implications not just for the shipyard, but for us, for the Navy.”

Part of Dangers Without Borders, an ongoing series by InsideClimate News that examines how threats to national security are being multiplied by climate change.