Slowly Drowning

Angela Ramsey

2016 - Ongoing

A “Flood Day” as it is sometimes called, is not all that different from a snow day. As the waters start to rise, our children grab paddle boards, kayaks and just about anything that floats. “The street is a river” they say. They are always more excited than my husband and I. We wonder : will we make it home from work? Will I lose my house and all of my possessions the next hurricane season? My house is in Flood Zone A. Flooding does not always happen during a storm either- it happens on sunny days when you’d least expect it.

These floods are happening in coastal areas across the United States and around the world. People adapt not because they want to, but because they must. People have always adapted and will continue to find new ways to live with the rising waters. I am passionate about documenting these real stories of struggle, adaptation, and enjoyment delivered to Norfolk each time a flooding event occurs.

For me and the people Hampton Roads, flooding has become a real part of everyday life. We have learned to live with the water and have adapted to the rising tides. The entire 5 city area called Hampton Roads sits only a few feet above sea level. With the ocean levels steadily rising (14.5 inches over the past 80 years) the waters have little choice but to invade new areas. The Norfolk area is relatively flat and rising waters can invade from many different directions depending on the season. Other times the water comes from the sky or storm surges and there is no way for the floods to escape so they fill the streets and backyards.

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  • For the residents of one neighborhood in Norfolk, Va., high tides cover the streets and cars are unable to park in their driveways.

  • Low lying streets are underwater often in the neighborhood of Larchmont, in Norfolk, Va.

  • Houses are bought by the city to turn into green space. These areas give places for the water to go.

  • A patch of grass is the only thing that let's you know this isn't part of the river.

  • High tides cover the streets of the neighborhood of Larchmont in Norfolk, Va. FEMA has lifted many houses on this street due to constant flooding.

  • As the waters rise it seeps into garages and porches throughout the neighborhood.

  • Streets become mini streams during " Sunny Day Flooding. " These occur during high tides and not an abnormal weather event.

  • A park bench sits alone in the water.

  • Many houses have been lifted due to multiple claims of flooding.

  • Sunny day flooding is a common occurrence in Norfolk, VA.

  • A lonely pool noodle floats in the flooded backyard of a Larchmont resident.

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