Welcome to 2022 – King tides takes out shoreline homes and businesses in the Salish Sea

In a grand “Climate Change” welcome to 2022 King tides moved into the Salish Sea along with a major storm front. The outcome was widespread destruction across a huge swath of the shorelines, from the South Sound up through British Columbia. This is just a taste of what’s ahead, as we await the break off of a huge glacier in Antarctica, and it’s subsequent melt down, which will add to sea level rise. If you have a home or business on the shoreline, now is a good time to reconsider your long term options.

Let’s do a quick overview. If there is only one thing to see, watch this video that was posted by a homeowner from Blaine on Twitter.

And KUOW coverage opens with a scary photo of a neighborhood built on the “wrong side of the tracks”.

KUOW – Sea level on steroids: Record tides flood Washington coastlines

The CBC covered the British Columbia story.

B.C. coastal communities assess damage, look to future after king tides, extreme weather wreak havoc | CBC News

This does not even begin to cover the amount of businesses that have docks that may have been destroyed, nor the simple flooding that may have occurred.

I have watched with disbelief over the last decades as more and more luxury homes have been built on spits in Puget Sound. Some examples? Three Tree Point in South King County. A more recent one in is Miller Bay near Indianola. Let’s look! These houses are really expensive and right at sea level!

Image by Google Earth

Or how about our own Beckett Point in Jefferson County?

Image by Google Earth

Beckett Point is no stranger to flooding. It was wiped out in the 1930s by a massive wind storm. Back then it was just fishing shacks but those were replaced by homes. Bottom line, these people are living on a sandspit, at sea level, and likely their home owners insurance is provided by the Federal Government because there is no way they could afford to pay for private insurance, even if it’s available. Choosing to live here, while incredibly beautiful and usually no problem, is and will continue to be challenging.

Want to add your own and track more vulnerable communities on the Sound? Go to my little project on Google Earth. https://earth.google.com/earth/d/1ZiX9tu1nnWs16-Lwnm4CORazbgPMJJ5H?usp=sharing

It is worth remembering that these homeowners get federal insurance to live here, so our tax dollars go to help continue this behavior. Please make sure that you let our elected officials know that with rising costs due to sea level rise, we cannot continue to subsidize everyone who lives on the shore. Now is the time to end this practice and let these homeowners bear the full cost of their decision (and it is also the decision of the local land use officials and county officials).

I’ve left out the massive flooding all over western Washington and British Columbia in the last 60 days, along with wildfires in December in Colorado, and massive super tornadoes in Kentucky (can you picture a tornado 250 miles long? with winds of 94 MPH sustained over four hours and 24 minutes?). Global warming is upon us and our best situation is to begin making changes to issues like insurance and infrastructure to mitigate the worse that is yet to come in future decades.

King Tides this weekend. – Get out and videotape and photograph them

A good opportunity for citizen science. If you have a local beach that you visit, this weekend, at high tide, is a good time to get out and videotape it. If your camera has GPS, get the exact waypoint for the spot you tape at. Your smartphone should also automatically do that with any shots you take.

We have a few projects that the Marine Resources Committee is tracking, and we’ll be out seeing how they fare.

This is global warming and climate change happening right in front of us. Take the kids out also to teach them what to look for in future decades, when they come back to the same spot.

King Tide Shows What Climate Change Has In Store

This weekend the tide will rise three feet above normal, soaking the shore, spoiling freshwater aquifers, and giving us all a glimpse of the future. Dan Person reports. (Seattle Weekly) See also: King tides expected this week on Budd Inlet http://www.theolympian.com/2015/01/22/3537454/king-tides-expected-this-week.html Andy Hobbs reports. (Olympian)

Vancouver places 30,000 sandbags along waterfront as ‘king tide’ looms – Canadian Press

Vancouver braces for high tide coupled with storm surge. This is exactly the issue that climate change scientists warn about becoming more frequent as the climate continues to warm. It’s not so much about the mid points of the swings, but that we will continue to have higher highs and lower lows.  I have not heard of any precautions being taken on the Washington side of the Strait.

Some 30,000 sandbags line a stretch of low-lying waterfront land in Vancouver, placed by city workers in a bid to protect local homes from an anticipated king tide. The task was completed by about 45 workers in advance of Wednesday’s forecasted weather event, which could coincide with the same type of high winds and heavy rains that have already cut power to thousands of residents across the south coast and flooded streets. Justin Smallbridge reports. (Canadian Press)


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