When Hurricane Isabel pummeled Hampton Roads with 5- to 8-foot waves in 2003, low-lying Langley Air Force Base in Hampton was largely underwater, sustaining more than $160 million in damage.
Now, a new Union of Concerned Scientists report warns that Isabel was just a grim taste of things to come. That flooding and storm surge at Langley and other coastal military installations will only get worse — maybe a lot worse.
In fact, under the worst-case scenario of 6.9 feet of sea level rise for this region by the end of this century, the base stands to lose nearly 90 percent of its land to daily flooding as it essentially becomes part of the tidal zone.
Meanwhile, some 20 miles away along the James River, roughly 60 percent of Joint Base Langley-Eustis could be lost to high tides — with even more lost to the extreme spring and king tides.