Fifty years ago today, Nelson County was hit by a storm of historic proportions – a hurricane that, without warning, claimed 124 lives. More than 25 inches of rain fell overnight, causing slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains to erode.
The vast region that comprises Appalachia is known for its abundance of water. High mountain ridges here function like ‘water towers’ holding moisture from the atmosphere and sending it down into rivers, streams and aquifers, ultimately quenching the thirst of millions of people beyond its borders. But a new study finds that climate change could have a strange and devastating effect on this ancient system.