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New report: More of Virginia at risk of destructive winds from tropical systems

Hurricane Names Retired
File-This Sept. 14, 2018, file photo shows a satellite image provided by NOAA showing Hurricane Florence on the eastern coast of the United States.

The destructive force of wind from tropical weather systems poses an increasing risk to Virginia, according to a new report.

The future will include a lot more tropical storm and hurricane force winds in Virginia. That's according to a new report from the First Street Foundation, which looked at risk model estimates of likely wind damage and calculated exposure. Ed Kearns at the First Street Foundation says they are taking existing science and translating it to specific street addresses.

"We're starting to see that risk creep up the coast, including places like Virginia," Kearns says. "And so, we're trying to take those general scientific results and then translate that, ‘Hey, what does that mean to somebody living in Virginia? What's happening my risk in Virginia at my house?’"

Christopher Gough at Virginia Commonwealth University says coastal Virginia is specifically at risk, although the rest of Virginia will also have to deal with worsening winds.

"For example, if you look at the top of a mountain in Virginia most of the time wind has sheared off the tops of canopies," Gough explains. "So, imagine that being amplified if we had more wind. So that sort of destructive force of wind, while we think about the coastal region being most vulnerable, certainly does apply to other locations in Virginia."

You can see the shifting risk where you live here by typing in your street address.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.