Our Home Town

West Virginians always lend a hand to help a neighbor.
That’s who we are.

West Virginia has always been subject to floods. Now things are getting worse as floods become more frequent and more dangerous for both kinds of floods: flash floods that cause small streams to become dangerous water walls, and river floods — where a bigger river overflows its banks. Flash floods generally cause greater loss of life and river floods generally cause greater loss of property, says the USGS.

A report by First Street Foundation says that West Virginia’s infrastructure is at high risk from damage by a 100-year flood, one that has a 1% chance of occurring each year. In fact, West Virginia is at a higher flood risk due to warming weather than any other state.  West Virginia’s infrastructure is uniquely vulnerable to a 100-year flood: 61% power stations would be at risk of shutdown, 46% of roads would be at risk of being inoperable, as would 57% of fire stations, 50% of police stations and 38% of schools. That doesn’t even begin to tally the loss of lives, homes, and personal property.

West Virginia’s legislature approved a flood resilience plan, but refuses to put any money into it. An unfunded plan is a disaster waiting to happen — one that could impact any of us any time. When will politicians in Charleston wake up to the dangers of flooding made worse by carbon pollution.

Climate change is making the weather in West Virginia go to extremes, causing big problems for people, animals, and the environment. As the Earth gets warmer, West Virginia is seeing more heavy rain and worse floods more often. These floods can destroy homes, roads, and bridges, making it hard for people to live their daily lives and costing a lot of money to fix everything. Also, when it gets too hot for too long, it can lead to droughts, which means not enough water for plants, animals, and people. This can make it hard to grow food and get clean water. It’s really important that we find ways to deal with these changes so we can protect our state and keep everyone safe.

Have you noticed that local TV weather reports now report the pollen count? That’s because pollen counts are exploding, up 21% since 1990. We have earlier warm weather in spring, more intense heat in summer, and later warm temperatures in fall. Higher temperatures and more carbon dioxide in the air encourage plants to produce heavy pollen. So we get a longer, heavier pollen season.

Pollen overload causes more than just sniffles. It affects productivity on the job and school performance. Studies show that kids do less well on tests and can’t learn as much during high pollen seasons. People with asthma are particularly at risk as pollen aggravates the lungs and causes shortness of breath, chest tightening, wheezing, and other symptoms. Sometimes people end up in the ER. Children make up the bulk of these emergency room visits.
Warming temperatures are affecting our health — right here, right now. Let’s Fix It.

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria carried by deer ticks, and spreads to people and pets through tick bites.  It can cause fever, fatigue, joint pain, skin rash, and serious joint and nervous system problems. It is spread through the bite of deer ticks.

Climate change has contributed to the expanded range of ticks, increasing the potential risk of Lyme disease. Hard winter freezes cause fewer ticks to survive, but where the winters become milder, ticks don’t need to hibernate. If you work outdoors, you are more exposed to Lyme disease. Farmers and landscapers, are especially at risk.

Here are some other impacts climate change will have on Lyme disease: a faster and longer developmental cycle, more egg production and more ticks wherever you see them, and an earlier tick season as winter’s become shorter. Warmer winters also mean higher survival rates of rodents that ticks like, meaning an increased tick population in spring and summer.

We don’t need disease vectors in our backyards. We can Fix It!
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Another Climate Change Risk – Lyme Disease

We’ve always had ticks in West Virginia. But maybe you’ve noticed they’re worse now. You aren’t imagining it. There are more ticks these days and they are showing up earlier in the spring and dying off later in the fall. The culprit?…
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Climate Change Has Made This Extreme Heat Four Times More Likely

Everyone has noticed. Extreme heat has become more frequent and more widespread than in the past. Is it just a temporary natural fluke that will be corrected when we return to the mean temperatures experienced in the last fifty years? Absolutely…
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Nature-Based Flood Resiliency Can Safeguard West Virginia’s Future

Nearly all states have disaster recovery plans, and these typically include flood disaster recovery. Recovery is a different concept than resiliency, which is designed to harden communities and infrastructure against future harm. West Virginia…