SEAL BEACH (CBSLA) – City crews in California coastal areas spent the weekend preparing for the season’s first round of “King Tides” Sunday and Monday, but they did not pack the punch that was expected.
King Tides, or astronomical high tides, can flood beach parking lots, and other low-lying areas, like sidewalks and boardwalks. They can also cause dangerous rip currents.
“We see the tide surge so high that the entire beach will start to flood, so it’ll come onto the sidewalk here,” longtime Seal Beach resident Jaime Townzen told CBSLA regarding King Tides in the past.
However, the National Weather Service reported that Southern California’s coastline saw minimal swells Sunday and Monday, and no rain or significant winds, variables which could have made the tides more threatening.
In Seal Beach, a half-mile-long sand wall, known as a berm, is put in place every year in anticipation of King Tides. Sandbag stations were also made available so residents could shore up areas around homes. Throughout the day Monday, a sand brigade made up of several bulldozers was continuing to replenish the natural barriers.
“They do a good job with the berms that they build up to try and mitigate any possible damage,” Seal Beach resident Butch Andreasson said.
This week’s King Tides, whose effects will last into Tuesday morning, were forecast to reach up to 7 feet.
King Tides usually occur in the fall or winter when the moon and the sun align just right. They are most concerning when they occur in conjunction with other weather events, such as high surf or rain and wind. King Tides are not caused by climate change, but by gravitational factors. The next round of King Tides will occur on Dec. 13 and Dec. 15.
The California King Tides Project, a volunteer group, will document any erosion that does occur, with the goal of visualizing the effects of future sea levels, which are projected to be higher, and the problems that may cause.
So far, so good in #SealBeach! High #KingTides, which occur when the earth lines up with the moon and sun, have flooded this area in the past. Natural sand barriers are being built up as a precaution. Tide impact could be felt through tomorrow. @CBSLA pic.twitter.com/Ge1ydUiGvy
— Kara Finnstrom (@KaraFinnstrom) November 16, 2020
A Beach Hazard Statement has been issued from Orange Co. down to San Diego Co. King tides expected through Tuesday & could bring minor coastal flooding at beach parking lots & other low lying coastal areas. @cbsla #KCAL9 pic.twitter.com/bgXcFtGgb5
— Amber Lee (@AmberLeeNews) November 16, 2020