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King Tides Cause Some Coastal Flooding, Higher Waves Along South Florida Beaches

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Some coastal areas saw some minor flooding Monday due to a combination of gusty winds and seasonal king tides.

Monday's winds were are out northeast winds at 15 to 20 miles per hour with gusts as high as 25 miles per hour. The strong onshore breeze led to rough surf and a dangerous high risk of rip currents at the beach. Swimming was not recommended. A small craft advisory has been issued due to hazardous marine conditions. Bays are choppy with seas about 4 to 6 feet.

In addition, with a new moon, we have the higher than normal "King Tides" peaking this morning. These exceptionally high tides are caused by the gravitational force of both the sun and the oceans, acting to displace more ocean water in certain areas.

"The elevations that we're seeing today are in the range of 10-12 inches above what was predicted and so when that happens we do end up seeing a greater level of flooding throughout various low lying areas of the city," said Dr. Nancy Gassman, assistant Public Works director in charge of sustainability for Fort Lauderdale.

The combination of the king tides along with the gusty easterly winds will generate waves that will increase the flood threat along the coast.

The effect of wind on king tides depends on which direction it's coming from.

"When we get winds of the west, the tides tend to be higher as water is pushed toward the coast line and it ends up stacking up and the tides end up being higher," said Gassman.

Fort Lauderdale's four pumps have been busy trying to empty storm drains, but it's hard to keep up.

"At its highest point it'll just take out our entire dock," said Barbara Clark.

Clark lives on Isle of Capri just off Las Olas. She has a "no wake" sign in her front yard. In the back, the flooding gets pretty bad.

"Last month, it was in our pool. We were actually fishing because we had fish in the pool," she said. "It just comes and the dock is gone. And then it will happen again tonight, until tomorrow."

Her home, along with roads in her neighborhood, go under water when king tides hit.

"We lost our floor a couple years ago, so we had to raise the dining room," she said. "The whole first floor is up 12 inches because of these king tide."

Temporary pumps were put around Miami Beach to stop the water coming over the sea walls.

"You are going to see water coming over the old sea walls flowing out in the street where we have a whole row of temporary pumps keeping the water pumped out enough so cars can pass," said Miami Beach Public Works Director Roy Coley.

Minor coastal flooding will be possible today along low-lying, vulnerable areas around high tide times. High tide will take place in Miami Beach around 10:48 p.m. High tide will take place in Fort Lauderdale beach around 10:40 p.m.

Tomorrow high tide times for Fort Lauderdale are 11:38 a.m. and 11:51 p.m. and Miami Beach are 10:56 a.m. and 11:10 p.m.

"The tide levels we're seeing today are close to what we were seeing during the passage of Hurricane Dorian," said Gassman. "They're with in a few inches of the highest tides we've experienced over the past five years."

Residents should not drive through flooded roads caused by the king tides to avoid damage to vehicles.

King tides will continue through October and November.

Temperatures will remain seasonable with highs climbing to the upper 80s with a mix of sun and clouds today. We have the potential for passing showers on the breeze throughout the day. Hang on to the umbrella.

It stays breezy through midweek with the chance for scattered showers. Late week deep tropical moisture will enhance our chance for showers and storms. The rain chance will likely be higher through the weekend.

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