Southeast enters peak king tide flood season
King tides impact coastal communities when the orbits of the Earth, moon and sun align
Peak king tide season is underway, and some parts of the Sunshine State are already seeing the effects of the increased tides.
These higher-than-normal water levels occur when the orbits of the Earth, moon and sun align during full or new moon cycles.
The combination of an onshore flow and rain water that is still trickling out of the basins from Hurricane Ian will only add more misery to already growing problem.
"We’ve been experiencing king tides for many years and it has been worsening over the past decade. And we basically prepare for it in many different ways," said Amy Knowles, chief resilience officer at the city of Miami Beach. "First of all, we have a very protective dune system on the east side of Miami Beach. It’s about seven miles long and about ten feet high. We’re also transitioning from a gravity-based stormwater system to a pump-based system. And we have about 48 permanent pumps. And in low-lying areas where we do see some localized flooding, we use temporary pumps, and we have a lot of communications out to our residents to let them know, to keep an eye out and to stay safe."
WATCH: 6 INJURED AS GIANT WAVE SWEEPS ACROSS MIAMI BEACH PIER
Depending on weather conditions at the time of high tides, water levels can force the closure of streets and flood low-lying areas.
"It’s something really strange to see on a sunny day and water coming up, you know, from a manhole or from a stormwater inlet," Knowles said.
King tides are a global phenomenon but have the most visible impacts on communities from Florida to the Carolinas.
The tides take place year-round, but due to the position of Earth and general weather patterns, fall’s events are significantly higher than other times during the year.
‘SUNNY DAY’ FLOODING HAS ALREADY DOUBLED FOR SOME COASTAL CITIES AND MORE IS ON THE WAY
Knowles said water levels in Miami Beach have not topped previous events so far, but there were several more king tides left in the season.
Additional king tide events are expected from October 24-30, November 6-9 and November 23-27.
If you encounter floodwaters, officials warn they might be contaminated. Drivers and boaters are urged to use extreme caution and avoid travel through when possible.