BEAUFORT, N.C. (WNCT) – According to experts who deal with the environment, we are in the middle of a “king tide” along the coast in North Carolina.
Front Street in Beaufort can sometimes flood as a result of these high tides. That hasn’t happened yet, but one business 9OYS spoke with said when it does, it can impact the area.
“It’s another weather issue that, you know, we’ve got to take into consideration but it’s Mother Nature,” said the owner of Harper Specialties, Susan Sanders.
But, what is a king tide and why is it affecting businesses in Beaufort?
“When the spring tides that occur that’s usually during full moon or new moon occurred during perigean, perigean is when the moon is physically closest to Earth and its elliptical orbit around Earth,” said Research Associate at UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, Christine Voss.
And this will cause higher or lower tides.
“We know that when water levels occur at a certain elevation, they are coming up and actually flooding our streets,” said Voss.
The very storm drains built hundreds of years ago to carry water out of the town are actually now bringing it back in.
“The way that the astronomical poll of the planets on our water has always been in about the same magnitude. But what has changed is our globe has warmed,” said Voss.
And when the flooding happens, law enforcement officials will close Front Street.
“That disrupts business while the waters high like that, but it recedes in a couple of hours. And we were back to normal,” said Sanders.
So, for Harpers Specialties, they plan to keep their eye on the tide and keep towels ready, just in case.
“I always just check and see when high tide is going to be relative to our store hours. So that um, you know, I’m, I’m here and ready to react if we need to,” said Sanders. “This particular time has not been an issue at all. Today was high tide was a good hour before any of us opened up.”
Experts are also urging residents to submit photos of any flooding they see to their King Tides Project so they can study them to see what higher sea levels might look like in the future. Click here to learn more.