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King Tide Floods Southeast Coast

18 Oct 2016, 7:16 am

Coastal Flood Advisories are in effect from Miami, Florida to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Multiple factors are coming together this week to inundate coastal communities with water. After Hurricane Matthew, many of these low lying cities shudder at the thought of more water in the streets.

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King tide is a non-scientific term to describe the highest tides of the year. NOAA and the NWS are able to forecast the potential for these occurrences based on the cycles of the moon. Tides are the regular rise and fall of the sea surface caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun and their position relative to the earth. About three or four times a year (in the spring and the fall), the new or full moon coincides closely in time with the perigee of the moon—the point when the moon is closest to the Earth. These occurrences are often called ‘perigean spring tides.’ NOAA’s 2016 High Tide Bulletin predicted a higher than normal tide for the southeast from October 15-20. It points to November 13-17 as the next peak.

The general wind flow is also making things worse. The full moon is teaming up with on-shore flow to push salt water in to homes, businesses, and streets. Invest 99-L in the Atlantic is also helping to increase winds from the east.

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eaders in Delray Beach continue to look for a solution concerning the flooding and high water levels of King tides. Coastal cities like Marine Way were hit hard by the tides Tuesday. Many homeowners say this is an annual problem that’s costing them lots of money to keep up with. At a meeting hosted by the city Monday night, officials talked about some ways to protect flood prone areas. One option was to raise the seawalls. They also want to add valves to allow fresh water to exit the city’s drainage system and prevent salt water from entering it. City leaders are working with consultants to design a new seawall at Veteran’s Park and the City Marina. Meanwhile the residents of Marine Way say they’ll be issuing a request to engineering firms within the next few weeks to begin designing a seawall here.

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For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Karissa Klos

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