For the past week, parts of Miami have basically become a water park. King tide — the phenomenon that creates sunny-day flooding due to the positioning of the moon — began last Thursday and ended yesterday. South Florida streets were soaked with saltwater, inconveniencing just about everyone.
Around Miami, king tide flooding is perhaps the most visible reminder of climate change and sea-level rise. John Morales, chief meteorologist for WTVJ, points out that Tuesday's tide was more than a foot higher than the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's prediction.
"#sealevelrise has added 5 inches since the mid 1990s," he tweeted earlier this week.
Overall, it was the second-highest king tide in Miami, trailing just short of record flooding in October 2017.
This week, South Florida residents shot tons of footage of their underwater neighborhoods, and the results looked pretty apocalyptic. Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez captured a video outside the Coral Gables restaurant Red Fish Grill, which was inundated by up to six inches of water:
The parking lot for #RedfishGrill in #MathesonHammock sits appx 1.9 ft above sea level. This video from 10:30 am shows the parking lot under at least 4-6 inches of water. #KingTide of appx 2.5 ft @BMcNoldy pic.twitter.com/HX2twnHUSo— Xavier L. Suarez (@XavierLSuarez1) September 29, 2019
WSVN reporter Brian Entin filmed another jaw-dropping video, showing the streets of Miami flooded:
Really disturbing drive to pick up lunch. Miami streets not even near the ocean are submerged with ocean water bubbling up from drains. Never seen a king tide like this one. pic.twitter.com/zvo6X9Rzxr— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) October 1, 2019
Here are aerials from the Miami area I just drove through. Notice the pump 20 seconds in. Much of our infrastructure is really not prepared for these king tides. Bizarre to see such flooding, but no rain and beautiful sunshine. pic.twitter.com/sJStgjKlA6— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) October 1, 2019
Throughout the week, similar scenes played out across South Florida:
By far the worst king tide flooding I’ve ever seen in Hollywood, Florida. Every side street along the beach front is flooded and the entire east side of A1A is flooded. @JohnMoralesNBC6 pic.twitter.com/slHPMZWxxI— Morgan Guigon (@MorganGuigon) October 1, 2019
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King tide + sea level rise =6-8" standing seawater on a normally dry trail. This was 90 minutes before high tide. #ClimateChange #sealevelrise #miami https://t.co/VTPIN10LbZ pic.twitter.com/hsLmkz0hcS— Lela Schlenker (@LelaSchlenker) September 30, 2019
It got worse. This was at 12:15 Miami time pic.twitter.com/G0j3FCUAvu— Juliet Maher (@JulesMaherPhoto) October 1, 2019
Although this week's king tide period is officially over, Miami isn't completely out of the woods. Yet another king tide is expected at the end of the month, just in time for Halloween. October 25 through 31, South Florida will experience higher-than-normal tides due to the new moon, meteorologists says.