By Paul Brinkmann, Reporter
16 October 2012
(South Florida Business Journal) – Miami-Dade County officials said Tuesday’s flooding of Alton Road and other low-lying areas in Miami Beach is a warning about the perils of rising sea levels.
Parts of Miami Beach were flooded by unusually high tide Tuesday morning, which is partly due to an annual high tide that occurs every autumn.
On Tuesday morning, the highest tide occurred about 9:50 a.m. Mercedes and BMWs plowed through floodwaters, splashing waves onto local sidewalks, residences and businesses. Some pedestrians walked through standing water.
Unusually high tides are expected to continue the next few weeks and hit another peak on Nov. 13 and Nov. 16, according to predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Rising seas, which are connected to global warming and climate change, have been a growing topic in the City of Miami Beach. The city’s new storm water plan includes $200 million of infrastructure expenses designed to combat rising seas over the next 20 years.
According to NOAA, high tide events this autumn are expected to be 9 inches to 11 inches above the average high tide for 2012.
Tides are influenced by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun, and therefore cycle on a daily, monthly, and seasonal basis. Tides can also be affected by factors such as sea level, and weather, particularly wind and storm surge.
Similar high tide events occurred in Miami Beach in October 2010.
In a news release, county officials said extreme tide events illustrate the potential challenges of future sea-level rise, and underscore the “importance of developing strategies to address and reduce coastal flooding impacts.”
For more information on the county’s climate change activities click here.