Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Sunny day flooding, how king tides affect coastal communities and how you can help

King tides are unrelated to climate change or sea-level rise, but these astronomically-driven higher high tides will allow researchers to envision future sea levels

Carolina Beach is looking for assistance from participating and committed residents to document extreme high tide events. (Port City Daily photo/JOHANNA FEREBEE)
Carolina Beach is looking for assistance from participating and committed residents to document extreme high tide events. (Port City Daily photo/JOHANNA FEREBEE)

CAROLINA BEACH — Coastal flooding is a part of life when living near the ocean, but in Carolina Beach, so called sunny day flooding has become an issue. That is why the Town of Carolina Beach and The UNC Institute of Marine Science have partnered to study the effects of king tides on coastal communities.

These tides are “extreme high tide events,” according to the North Carolina King Tide Project.

While the analysis of the data collected throughout the project will ultimately be studied by The UNC Institute of Marine Science, Carolina Beach is looking for help from residents to help gather it. The King Tide Project installed several tidal gauges that can be monitored by anyone interested.

Carolina Beach joins the study

Assistant Town Manager Ed Parvin said, “The tidal gauge was installed about a month ago by UNC Institute of Marine Science.  They have been installing the gauges all over eastern NC to collect tidal data.  The Town was very interested in participating in the program as we have significant issues with ‘Sunny Day Flooding’ (tidal influenced) on the north end of Carolina Beach. We are looking for someone to volunteer to read the gauge on a certain day of the week.”

A tidal gauge has been installed in Carolina Beach's marina to help track water levels (Port City Daily /Johanna Ferebee)
A tidal gauge has been installed in Carolina Beach’s marina to help track water levels (Port City Daily /Johanna Ferebee)

According to Marygrace Rowe, a research technician with The UNC Institute of Marine Science, “The North Carolina King Tides (NCKT) Project is an extension of an international project in which citizens photo-document water levels during King Tide events and share these images on a public website. King tides, or perigean spring tides, are unrelated to climate change or sea-level rise; however, these astronomically driven higher high tides allow us to envision future sea levels.”

King tide events have become an increasing problem in Coastal North Carolina and continue to contribute to nuisance flooding, she said. By capturing these events on camera as well as through data the information can help support research and influence policy makers.

“We have three water-level gauges in Carolina Beach located at Carolina Beach Town Marina, Carolina Beach State Park and at the intersection of Canal Drive and Sandpiper Lane. The water-level gauge at the intersection of Canal and Sandpiper is unique in that it is located right next to the road and is used to measure street flooding. All of these gauges are open to the public to read and report! A reading consists of looking at the gauge, noting the water level, and reporting it on the Water-Level Reporter GeoForm,” Rowe.

Those who are interested in helping with the project can register online with the Town of Carolina Beach.


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