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Lack of Flood Maps at Many U.S. Military Bases Creates Risks

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An aerial view of Offutt Air Force Base affected by major flood waters March 17, 2019. An increase in water levels of surrounding rivers and waterways caused by record-setting snowfall over the winter in addition to a large drop in air pressure caused widespread flooding across the state of Nebraska. (U.S. Air Force photo by TSgt. Rachelle Blake)

By Dr. Marc Kodack

The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) required that for any proposed major or minor U.S. military construction project within the Department of Defense (DoD), the Pentagon must disclose to Congress whether or not that project is located within the 100-year floodplain. DoD was to use the most recent Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood hazard data. If the FEMA data were unavailable, DoD was directed to create a process to determine the 100-year floodplain through risk analysis that conforms to standards used in federal flood risk assessments (see here). Elsewhere in the same NDAA, Congress required that climate resiliency be included in master plans for major military installations, although it did not define “major military installation.” Resiliency includes the ability of an installation to “avoid, prepare for, minimize the effect of, adapt to, and recover from extreme weather events…(Section 2805).” (more…)

Release: North Carolina Leaders, Military and Security Experts Discuss Climate Threats in Wake of Hurricane Florence

North Carolina Fact Sheet CoverEvent: “Sea Level Rise & Security in the Southeast: Implications for the Military and Civilian Communities”
Date and time: September 24, 2018, from 2:00pm-4:45pm (Livestream available here during opening remarks, and then again after the film screening, at approximately 3:00pm)
Location:  The James B. Hunt Jr Library, NC State University Centennial Campus, Raleigh, NC
Hosts: The Center for Climate and Security in partnership with The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, North Carolina Sea Grant, and the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership
Agenda and speakers: here
North Carolina fact sheet: here

Raleigh, NC – As the citizens of North Carolina come to terms with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence and the devastating impacts of storm-related flooding, The Center for Climate and Security, in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Environmental QualityNorth Carolina Sea Grant, and the Albermarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership have come together to discuss how the effects of sea level rise, storm surge, and extreme weather events can combine to greatly effect the state’s coastal communities, the military operations carried out at installations located in the eastern part of the state, and how planning for resilience can be integrated into the long-term outlook and policy for the region. (more…)

Upcoming Event in NC – Sea Level Rise and Security in the Southeast: Implications for the Military and Coastal Communities

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Flash flooding because of rainfall is just the first phase. Once the rain gets back to the rivers, heading back to the Atlantic, there is another set of flooding.” Major General Greg Lusk, Adjutant General of the North Carolina National Guard

I do think that the climate is changing, and I do think that it is becoming more severe…I do think that storms are becoming bigger, larger, more violent.” General Joseph Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau

The Center for Climate and Security’s Military Expert Panel, including senior retired flag and general officers from each of the Armed Services, recently issued the 2ndedition of a report concluding that sea level rise risks to coastal military installations will present serious risks to the military mission, underscoring a ‘Responsibility to Prepare.’ The report includes new information regarding military installation vulnerabilities, including to the energy and transportation infrastructure that these installations depend on, showing significant risks to high-value military sites – in North Carolina and across the country (see our recent post highlighting Hurricane Florence’s impact on military infrastructure and surrounding civilian communities, as well as U.S. military, National Guard and Coast Guard operations in the state). The report asserts that policies for addressing climate change risks must go beyond military infrastructure resilience, to include the resilience of surrounding civilian infrastructure, as well as the resilience of military operations in the face of these rapid changes.

In this context, please join the Center for Climate and Security, in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, North Carolina Sea Grant, and the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership, for a discussion about these significant risks, and the opportunities in North Carolina for addressing them. The event will kick-off with a screening of Tidewater, an award-winning film from the American Resilience Project, that details the challenges sea level rise presents to military readiness, national security, and coastal communities in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia – lessons that are certainly relevant to North Carolina.

The event will take place Monday, September 24 in Raleigh North Carolina at 2pm at the NCSU Hunt Library, 1070 Partners Way, Raleigh, NC 27606.

The event is free, but registration is required. To register, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TidewaterEvent

(more…)

Nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works on Climate Change

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Lock and Dam 22, Mississippi River, Hannibal, Missouri, US Army Corps of Engineers

On Thursday, November 9 the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) considered the nomination of R.D. James to be Assistant Secretary Of The Army for Civil Works. During the testimony, in an exchange with Senator Tim Kaine, Mr. James affirmed the practical approach to climate change taken by Secretary of Defense James Mattis in his own statements to the SASC (namely, that we have to prepared for it). Excerpt below: (more…)