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Extreme Surf Slams California Coast, Floods Mill Valley Roads During 'King Tide'

MONTEREY (CBS SF) — A natural coast rhythm around the winter solstice is bringing the year's highest tides to California shores, creating coastal flood advisory for the Bay Area.

Mark Strudley of the National Weather Service in Monterey said that he expects high tidal activity through Tuesday. He said it will peak Monday, with the likelihood of flooding at low-lying areas.

Strudley says the so-called King Tide happens when the sun and moon align, which pulls ocean water to opposite sides of the earth and creates extremely high and low tides. High tide will occur in San Francisco at 11:14 a.m. Monday and 12:02 p.m. Tuesday. Get the complete timing on the California King Tides website.

The extra high tides sent water on to the pavement near the Highway 1 exit from Highway 101 in Mill Valley on Sunday. The parking lot there has flooded, as well the bike path area.

Last year the King Tide surrounded some buildings along the same area, closing on and off-ramps between Highway 1 and Highway 101.

Capt. Greg Stump, commander of the Coast Guard Sector San Francisco, says swells could rise to around seven feet.

The California King Tides Project sent out a warning about the phenomena Wednesday. The group is hoping people will add to a photo collection on Flickr to help illustrate what the Bay Area would normally look like if sea levels were to rise.

"The extremes that Californians have experienced this year with the drought and storm events show just how vulnerable we are to changes in our climate and weather. The king tides events similarly illustrate how sea level rise and shoreline change will impact our communities and ecosystems," says Sara Aminzadeh, Executive Director at the California Coastkeeper Alliance, a Project organizer.

Organizers released this map of where the best viewing locations for the rising tides are expected:

After this initial round, king tides will return on January 19th and again on February 17th.


TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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