Apr 22, 2019

Flooding linked to climate change puts beaches, nuclear plants at risk

A hot March: Global average temperature anomalies in degrees Celsius, compared to the 1951-1980 average for that month. Chart: NASA GISS

An increasing risk of flooding across the U.S. from climate change has caused lawmakers — from Hawaii to the East Coast — to consider new measures to protect at-risk areas.

The big picture: The risks span from the nation's natural jewels to some of its most important infrastructure. Rising sea levels mean that Hawaii's Waikiki Beach could be underwater within the next 15 to 20 years — and an increasing number of U.S. nuclear plants were never designed to handle the flood risk from climate change.

  • State lawmakers are considering spending millions for a coastline protection program aimed at defending the city from regular tidal inundations, AP reports.
  • 54 of the 60 nuclear plants in the U.S. aren't prepared for the flood risks expected due to climate change "Nineteen face three or more threats that they weren’t designed to handle," Bloomberg reports.

Go deeper ... EPA head: Drinking water, not climate change, is world's most pressing issue

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases surpass 200,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Positive cases of the coronavirus passed 200,000 on Wednesday — nearly twice as many as Italy — as more state governors issued stay-at-home orders for Americans to curb infection, per Johns Hopkins.

The state of play: In a major pivot in tone, President Trump said Tuesday it's "going to be a very painful two weeks," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 26 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 905,279 — Total deaths: 45,371 — Total recoveries: 190,710Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 199,092 — Total deaths: 4,361 — Total recoveries: 8,362Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Vice President Mike Pence said that White House modeling suggests "Italy may be the most comparable area to the United States" in terms of coronavirus impact.
  4. State updates: Florida and Pennsylvania are the latest to issue stay-at-home orders, totaling 34 states and Washington, D.C.
  5. 2020 update: West Virginia is latest state to delay its primary — Bernie Sanders urged Wisconsin to delay April 7 primary.
  6.  🎧 Podcast: The Defense Production Act
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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West Virginia is latest state to delay primary due to coronavirus

Photo: Barbara Davidson/Getty Images

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice rescheduled the state's May 12 primary election to June 9 on Wednesday, citing fears surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, AP reports.

Why it matters: 23 other states and the District of Columbia haven't held primaries yet. The White House is recommending, for now, that Americans practice social distancing and gather in groups of no more than 10 people — while many states have issued stay-at-home orders.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy