In a “Hindsight” attachment to her Oct. 19 article assessing the damage from Hurricane Florence, J.D. Walker made a curious statement. She opined that “… a bit of past legislation has come back to haunt Republicans.”
The legislation in question is House Bill 819. This bill, on some level, is a controversy with the Coastal Resource Commission’s projected 100 years sea level rise of 20 to 55 inches.
The extensive flooding from hurricane Florence had zero to do with sea level. Florence, reflecting the random behavior of hurricanes, stalled and then dumped 30 inches of rain. We learned in 1999 with the combined rainfall from Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd that North Carolina’s coastal rivers cannot handle 24-four plus inches of rain without extreme flooding.
The 2015 updated Coastal Resource Commission “North Carolina Sea Level Rise Assessment” report indicates a modest 2.4-inch, sea-level rise at Southport by 2045. This is hardly relevant to a storm that stalls and then dumps 30-plus inches of rain inland.
It is misleading to equate flooding caused by rainfall with potential flooding caused by a storm surge enhanced by an imagined increase in sea level.