As hurricane Joaquin headed away from the East Coast earlier this week, it felt like we dodged a big one. This doesn’t mean, however, that we shouldn’t view this as another wake-up call for what is happening with coastal flooding. The footage coming out of the flood in South Carolina is shocking, but all too real. The potential for our warmer atmosphere to hold water and dump it all at one time is increasing. And, in addition to the growing intensity of rainfall, sea level rise is forcing many coastal residents deal with flooding on a regular basis.
This is what we experienced last week when everyone was excited about the lunar eclipse. The tides that week were expected to experience a seven-foot difference between the low tide and high tide in Providence. Most full moon tides in Providence average around five feet, and during a half moon, around four feet. The additional two to three feet of water that come during King Tides are just the beginning of the trouble. Add in winds from the south and ample rainfall, and flooding gets worse. Tides last Wednesday registered above eight feet at the top of the Bay.
|Car drives through floods along Mathewson Rd. in Barrington.|
Drinking water is on the left side of this dam, while coastal
salt water is on the right.
National Grid tries to protect is power lines in India Point
Park in Providence.
These photographs are just a vision of the future. Taking the long view is important and planning to accommodate water in whatever way possible will be the best way forward. For now, invest in a moon calendar, and be aware of your surroundings.
Cars are stuck in their driveway at Spadina Avenue
in Warwick. How many days per year will this happen,
and how do we plan for the future?
Download a PDF of the full report on coastal flooding here.
If you are interested in helping to record high tide events, the next King Tide will be on October 27th and 28th. Go to mycoast.org or download the app to get started.