By Jessica Sanchez and Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporters
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – Earlier this week the City of Miami Beach issued a warning that king tide season is here, and residents should prepare for higher than average water levels between September 26th, and October 3rd. King tides are the highest tides of the year, which typically occur during the months of September to November.
King tides typically lasts about three hours and often cause residents to experience “sunny day flooding” where a street or other areas will flood even when it is not raining. The king tides also provide a preview of the normal tidal variations in the years to come as sea levels continue to rise.
Michael Nemtsev, a Miami Beach resident said, “Seeing the high [tides] makes me scared to be anywhere near the water. It seems that after the storms it’s becoming worse and worse.”
Adding, “I think some kind of barriers need to be put in place during the hurricane season near residential areas next to the beach because it seems more flooding happens every time king tides occur.”
Unfortunately barriers themselves will not help Miami or Miami Beach – and much of the rest of Florida — because the ground is mostly limestone made of compressed ancient reefs that are full of tiny holes. That means salt water is rising up through the ground itself.
Authorities warn that residents should take precautions and follow instructions to stay safe and dry; properties in low-lying or flood prone areas are strongly encouraged to use flood panels and other flood protection methods to protect their property.
In preparation, the city states that they clean the stormwater system to reduce pollutants from entering the waterways, conducts inspections to reduce flooding, and has temporary pumps on stand by to keep flood prone neighborhoods dry.
Flooding brings standing water so it is important to monitor around personal property and if water remains for more than 48 hours, report it by calling (305) 673-7625. Also flooding can be reported through the Miami Beach e-Gov app.
Another concern is to stop mosquitoes from living and multiplying around homes and businesses, and the county provides direction to always drain and cover areas where water sits stagnant.
Authorities also encourage residents to be sure to have flood insurance for a home or business, as well as register for the Parking Flood Relief Program to obtain free temporary accommodations during king tides and other weather events.
Road closures may occur as a result of flooding, and residents can sign up for traffic updates by texting MBTraffic to 888-777.