coastal flooding

Updated at 5:20 a.m. ET on Tuesday

People in North Carolina and South Carolina are coping with flooding, closed roads and power outages as what the National Hurricane Center now calls Post-Tropical Cyclone Florence moves toward the northeast.

"Florence becoming an increasingly elongated low pressure area as it continues to produce heavy rain and over parts of the mid-Atlantic region," according to the hurricane forecasters.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

This year's first round of King Tides will be this weekend. These "highest of the high tides" flood low-lying areas of South Florida and can lead to road closures or damage to cars and homes.

A new survey asks South Florida residents whether they would consider moving because of flooding, which is projected to get worse as seas continue to rise.

Scores of coastal research labs around the U.S. are helping communities plan for sea level rise. But now many are starting to flood themselves, creating a dilemma: stay by the coast and endure expensive flooding, or move inland, to higher ground, but away from their subject of study.

The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium lab is located along the state's fragile coast, about 80 miles southwest of New Orleans. The giant X-shaped building is at the end of a gravel road, surrounded by open water and grassy marshes.

Some of the worst flooding during this past weekend's East Coast storm happened during high tides.

Shoreline tides are getting progressively higher. A soon-to-be-published report obtained by NPR predicts a future where flooding will be a weekly event in some coastal parts of the country.

This story is a collaboration with Reveal, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and PRX. You can share your own experience with increased flooding here.

Courtesy Sara Kaufman

Today on Sundial: There's a new report from independent research firm Climate Central that looks at the 15 most at-risk cities in the US to sea-level rise. Of those 15 cities, 12 are in South Florida. We talk to WLRN's Kate Stein about that report, as well as how people in the region view the issue of flooding. Plus, we'll cover the upcoming ballot issue about the Miami Forever Fund.

Vaguely Artistic / Flickr/Creative Commons

Early voting is underway in Miami, Miami Beach, Hialeah and Homestead.

Voters in Miami and Miami Beach are deciding the fate of borrowing and booze. Miami wants to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars for the environment and other items. Miami Beach will decide if there should be an earlier last call for alcohol on a stretch of Ocean Drive for outdoor bars.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Excess water from Hurricane Irma is still making its way through Florida, exacerbating the significant water management challenges the state's faced this rainy season.

FPL

Florida Power & Light has at least 11,000 crew members on standby to restore power after Hurricane Irma.

The utility says some substations may be shut off if flood waters get close - which means some people may be without power as the worst of the storm approaches. FPL spokesman Rob Gould says preemptively shutting off substations will allow for faster restoration of power after the storm.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

For decades, height limits have been a third rail in development discussions in the Florida Keys — nobody wanted to go near them. But more frequent flooding, the prospect of sea level rise and higher insurance rates are all leading to one conclusion in the low-lying island chain — build up.

Key West voters agreed to raise height limits on the island by up to 4 feet back in 2014. Now Monroe County is considering a similar measure. That would apply in unincorporated parts of the county, like Key Largo and the Lower Keys.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

A seasonal king tide boosted by a rare super moon over the weekend may continue to trigger flooding around South Florida through Wednesday, National Weather Service forecasters warned Monday.

High tides were expected to reach three feet or higher along the South Florida coast beginning Monday and continuing through Wednesday and possibly Thursday. That’s expected to trigger some flooding, forecasters said in an advisory Monday. The super moon, making its closest pass to the Earth in nearly seven decades, is amplifying the seasonal king tide.

NOAA

It was so small you might have missed it, but a tsunami struck the west coast of Florida near Naples last Sunday.

The meteorological tsunami or “meteotsunami” caused coastal flooding and made high tide peak six feet higher than normal.

 

City of Key West

  While international leaders gather in Paris to look for global approaches to climate change, South Florida's leaders gathered in Key West. They are already immersed in dealing with the issue. Sometimes literally.

"When there is coastal flooding as a result of king tides, such as what we had a couple weeks ago, I can tell you I was up to my knees in the communities in my district," said Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams. "Local government is the first responder to the impacts of climate change."

Lisann Ramos

The confetti has settled from Miami Beach’s week-long birthday bash. Now the city is back to work at combating sea level rise with a panel discussion Monday night at City Hall.

Florida International University is also getting involved in the talks.

“Our biggest strength is reaching out and understand that we don’t know all the solutions and are willing to ask,” said Bruce Mowry, a City of Miami Beach engineer.

The solutions so far include water pumps, dunes, Everglades restoration and seawalls.

Miami's Coast Is Getting A Natural Face-Lift

Mar 18, 2015
Lisann Ramos

Several South Florida municipalities have been making efforts in coastal restoration.

The city of Miami approved major projects on that front in 2010. It did so in an attempt to implement natural solutions to sea-level rise. 

Conservationists are in the process of removing invasive plant species in beach dunes that cause coastline erosion. They are also installing plants that allow dunes to grow and better absorb water.

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