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201411kingtideOctober 30, 2014 - Along South Florida’s coast a yearly event known as the King Tide has become an inconvenience to residents--the abnormally high tide pushes into sewage pipes and drowns roads in its path. The King Tide occurs when the sun and the moon are the closest to the earth. Over time the flooding has been getting more severe and has caused the local government millions of dollars in repairs. As a reprisal, local counties have implemented various methods to combat the flooding this year. Miami Beach has installed $15 million dollars’ worth of pumps to save the beachfront from excessive flooding, which is part of its five-year plan to protect the area from the consequences of sea level rise. The pumps have minimized the flooding to a more manageable amount; however, this temporary solution may not be the correct way to solve a progressing problem. A study done on tidal flooding using data collected for the White House’s National Climate Assessment illustrates how the flooding will increase over time, especially in Miami and Key West, due to sea level rise and the lack of preventative measures being taken.

The highest peak of the tide was predicted to be on Wednesday, October 8th but due to rain and the aid from the pumps the highest was recorded on Tuesday, October 7th. In Fort Lauderdale, Broward County installed 44 special tidal valves that helped combat flooding. Since King Tide flooding is predicted to occur more frequently as sea level continues to rise, the question is, where are the long term solutions? Natural events like these represent a perfect opportunity for informing the public and government officials about the costs of sea level rise adaptation and mitigation.

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Photo caption/credit: The flood-prone streets of Miami. Photo credit: Maxstrz / Creative Commons