Thursday, December 1, 2022

King tides bring potential for flooding at area beaches this week

The Super New Moon will be high on the 12 and the lunar perigee (when the moon is closest to the Earth during orbit) on the 13. Beachgoers and individuals living or traveling in coastal towns may expect higher-than-normal water levels. (Courtesy photo)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Beaches in the region and low-lying areas in the coastal towns may see potential flooding this week with the return of king tides — a non-scientific term used to describe extreme highs and lows of the daily tidal cycle.

The North Carolina coast experiences it a few times a year — the last took place June 12- 16 — when the sun and the moon are closest to the Earth. This week king tides return July 11 through 15, with the lowest tides expected to be -0.4 feet with the highest topping out at 5.2 feet.

The Super New Moon will be high on the 12 and the lunar perigee (when the moon is closest to the Earth during orbit) on the 13. Beachgoers and individuals living or traveling in coastal towns may expect higher-than-normal water levels. If any storms occur — daily forecasts are showing 24% to 58% chances through the 15 — it could lead to increased dangers of flooding.

Officials advise avoiding walking or driving in flooded areas. Also, depending on water levels, roads or sections of roads may be closed due to flooding.

In Carolina Beach, where flooding often occurs, officers will issue $250 citations to anyone driving around barricades and through flooded areas.

The N.C. King Tide Project keeps records of the shoreline in order to track changes and understand how king tides and rising sea levels affect coastal communities. The public is encouraged to turn in pictures they may capture of king tide events and share them here.


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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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