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King tides rise a week after Irma, highlighting flood risks

MiamiHerald / On the heels of Hurricane Irma and just as Hurricane Maria began battering already ravaged islands in the Caribbean, South Florida is getting another meteorological reminder of the region’s vulnerability to rising tides.

Just a week after Irma littered streets, knocked out power and damaged properties, the initial round of this fall’s king tides rose this week. The debris from Irma challenged cleanup crews who had to pick up large loads of refuse and unclog storm drains to deal with the tides’ higher water, while scientists observed the flooding and gathered data.

These seasonal high tides are known for swamping docks and flooding streets. They rose twice a day on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, creating the first round of sunny-day flooding this fall. King tides rise each year in September, October and November when the sun and moon align to create a stronger gravitational pull on the ocean. October’s tides are typically the highest of the year.

A car drives through water on the street as the King Tide rises on Cordova Road in Fort Lauderdale, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. The King Tide has worsened in the last several years flooding streets and yards in the lower elevations in South Florida.

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