Watch CBS News

Broward cities bracing for king tides flooding with municipal projects designed to provide relief

Broward preps for king tide flooding
Broward preps for king tide flooding 02:59

FORT LAUDERDALE -- Some residents who live in Hollywood on Friday reported seeing flooded streets off of A1A in Hollywood but it wasn't from the persistent rainfall -- it was from water from the intracoastal that bubbled up from the storm drain during the morning's king tide.

"I thought, 'Oh my God, I'm going to have to swim out!'" resident Jose Diaz said. "Because it's very high, I have never seen it like this." 

Crews in Fort Lauderdale ready for king tide flooding. CBS News Miami

And he's right, king tides are higher than expected.

"Currently the tides are coming in higher than expected by about 6-8 inches. So that's creating flooding in more locations than we would normally have in an average king tide," said Dr. Nancy Gassman, assistant public works director in Fort Lauderdale. "We are getting some wind out of the west, that's pushing water up on to the shoreline, the Gulf Stream has been slowing down a little bit over the course of time that increasing the sea level we're experiencing."

To fight rising sea levels and high tides, Fort Lauderdale has ongoing resiliency projects that include raising seawalls.

A project is underway on Las Olas Boulevard, the main roadway that experiences flooding during the king tide period.

King tides
The forecast for king tides in South Florida. CBS News Miami

And the city is about to roll out a new initiative next Wednesday during the annual State of the City address called "Fortify Lauderdale."

"The expectation of this plan is to really look at all the neighborhoods that have been impacted by the various extreme rain and tidal flooding and to move forward and do both public and private improvements," Gassman said.

Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy said a $100 million effort is underway in the city to respond to flooding like this.

"I will tell you that in the next three years on Hollywood Beach, it will be a totally different situation here with all the projects," he said.

That includes raising some roads by up to half-a-foot.

"We have every thing from raising side streets like this one we see here, changing the contour of the drainage (and) improving the actual storm system itself with flap gates that will prevent water from the intracoastal through the storm system and onto the roads here," Levy said. "Pumps as well."

And he said a $30 million project is about to get underway as well that will include raising some city-owned seawalls and installing more pumps. 

The projects represent welcom news for people who live near the rising water.

"This is a big nuisance," said Michael Bronstein, who lives in Hollywood Beach. "It affects people who live in the neighborhood in a negative way."

What are king tides

King tides
How king tides are created. CBS News Miami

The king tides are expected to last through Wednesday, however Gassman said if we continue to get those higher-than-predicted tides the flooding tides could last through the end of next week. 

According to CBS News Miami meteorologist Dave Warren the king tides will peak over the next two days with the highest predicted tide coming Saturday morning. A coastal flood advisory remains in effect as minor flooding is expected to occur around the high tides over the next few days.

Friday's full harvest moon combined with the sun almost directly over the Equator leads to these higher than normal tides every fall and spring. We don't feel it but the water does as sun and moon work together to pull just a little harder on the water's surface. Higher high tides and lower low tides occur in the days leading up to and following the full moon.

It is best to avoid these flood areas if possible, but if you do drive through them then rinse with fresh water as soon as possible.

The highest tide predicted may be Saturday morning but more minor flooding can be expected with the following high tides. The advisory remains in effect until 3:00 PM Sunday. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.