"NORFOLK -- At her cozy house by the river, Julie Faella spoke as though a monster lurks nearby. It rises under a tidal moon, she said, or when the winds howl, or when rains crash down."
"She's seen it with her own eyes. It crept under the front door of one house she owned when Hurricane Isabel whipped the Lafayette River into a frenzy in 2003, and invaded a second house three years later when a nor'easter churned the waters for days.
"Your home isn't destroyed once. It's destroyed twice," said Faella, who tore down one house and rebuilt the other. "How are you going to get through it?"
In Norfolk, Virginia's second-largest city, with 250,000 residents, Faella's concerns aren't the isolated fears of one woman living on the river's edge. The entire city is worried. Miles of waterways that add to Norfolk's charm are also a major threat in the era of increased global warming and relative rising sea levels, as well as its odd and unique sinking ground."