King Tides Arriving in South Florida — Just the Beginning

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The Miami Herald has published an article by Joey Flechas and Cresonia Hsieh about the king tides battering Miami once again.  Some measures are  being taken to combat the rising waters, such as installing pumps and raising roadways, but it is a losing battle.  Seawalls are of no use because the porous limestone allows the water to travel through it underground.  Pumps are temporary at best, and raising roadways and buildings has rather short limits.

Because of the underlying porous limestone, Miami will not become the “Venice of America,” nor follow the path of Holland.  Put bluntly, Miami will drown.

Science is showing us that the rise is reality and accelerating, a natural cycle of climate change but certainly being helped by humans.  Typical of our total void of leadership in Tallahassee, Florida has no plan to address this coming crisis, but many local governments have the foresight and common sense to begin to plan and act.

Two leading experts on the Florida situation of rising seas reside close by in Gainesville:  Andrea Dutton, an assistant professor in UF’s Department of Geological Sciences and Kathryn Frank,  assistant professor in UF’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning,  See our post“Explore More — a Forum for Climate Change.”

Depending on how soon (not if,) the Antarctic ice sheet collapses, which is being eroded from underneath by the warmer ocean, the sea may rise one meter by 2100.  Or more.

Dr. Frank offered some numbers to consider:  in Florida, if the sea rose 5 feet,  there are 1.3 million people living on land that would be underwater.  We must also realize that rising sea levels will  effect not only the coastal areas, but North Florida, as the millions in the south will flee northward.  This will exacerbate an already-present water crisis.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life:  once taken, it cannot be brought back-


King tides arriving in South Florida with extra swell from Hurricane Nicole

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Water pools in a parking garage at 1441 Lincoln Rd. Wednesday evening during high tide. Valerie Navarrete

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By Joey Flechas and Cresonia Hsieh

[email protected]

The annual king tides are beginning to rise in South Florida, submerging docks, flooding low-lying streets and spilling over seawalls.

The tides are not expected to peak until Monday, but offshore winds from Hurricane Nicole are causing local water to swell about a flood over predictions, giving the region a preview of the rising tides.

“It’s going to raise the sea a little bit higher,” said Barry Baxter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami.


The weather service warned of mild coastal flooding around high tide Wednesday evening and Thursday. Thursday morning’s high tide is expected to swell around 7 a.m.

Wednesday evening, residents across South Florida posted pictures of rising water on social media.

Seasonal tidal flooding is nothing new, but scientists say the tides are inching higher amid sea level rise fueled by climate change. A study published early this year found that more than six million Floridians are at risk if the sea level rises six feet by 2100, a worst-case scenario. The most conservative estimate of three feet by 2100 could displace 4.3 million.



In areas like Miami Beach, where a $300 million anti-flooding program to install electric pumps and raise roads is under way to safeguard the city’s real estate, former flooding hot spots like Sunset Harbour did not flood. Last week, when the city failed to ensure six pumps in the neighborhood were running during a flash thunderstorm — only one of the six was working — businesses took on water.

But areas where improvements have yet to be made are still flood-prone, and many swaths of coastal South Florida can expect to see water rise at high tide through the weekend. These images are from Coral Gables and St. Lucie Village in St. Lucie County.
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