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'King Tides' Hitting Bay Area Shores, Flooding Streets

MILL VALLEY (CBS SF) -- A surge Thursday of unusually high tides flooded roadways and parking lots along the Bay Area coast.

The so-called 'king tides,' unusually high tides resulting from a unique alignment of the sun, moon and earth, can raise water levels anywhere from a couple inches to several feet depending on a number of variables.

The tide surge Thursday of  flooded roadways and parking lots along the Mill Valley waterfront. At the Redwood City Marina, cars drove through water that reached the top of wheel wells, as evidenced by a YouTube video posted Thursday.

KCBS' Jeffrey Schaub Reports:

By 10 o'clock, the tides had inundated the business area along the Mill Valley shore, closing on and off-ramps between Highway 1 and Highway 101. The Caltrans Manzanita Park and Ride was under water, and at least one shoreline office building completely surrounded by water.

Although no buildings actually flooded, Vinnie Vincente found the location of his outdoor furniture store had become an island.

"Right now, you can't get in or out," he said, looking across at the partially submerged cars in the Caltrans lot.

"They are under the sea level, and I guarantee the water will go into those cars," Vincente said.

Related Links:
Local Tidal Charts
More Info On King Tides

The highest estimated tide level is 10.5 feet, at Coyote Creek in San Jose, according to website of the California King Tides Initiative, a program to promote awareness of rising sea levels.

The National Weather Service said the King Tides will bring the highest tides of the year on Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings.

Forecasters said a tide surge of 9.6 feet is expected in Redwood City a little before 11 a.m. Thursday, while areas near the Golden Gate Bridge will see a tide of 7.2 feet.

Along with the high tides, forecasters say a building swell will bring large breaking waves to area beaches.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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