ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) — A new king tide cycle began Monday, which opens the possibility of flooding due to dangerous waves.

A king tide causes both extremely high and extremely low tides.

It comes several times a year, during a full or new moon when the moon is closest to the earth in orbit, making for exaggerated tide levels.

The UNC Institute of Marine Sciences tracks these king tides to see which areas in North Carolina will be impacted the most.

“It’s even coming up the storm drains,” said Christine Voss, UNC research associate. We have flooding in the streets. And I mean full salt water from the sound coming into Beaufort and Morehead City.”

Voss warns some flooding may be inevitable

“If you’re at an elevation that’s below the level of the water, it’s going to find a way to get to you,” Voss said.

But it’s rare the flooding would be dangerous unless it is a hurricane situation.

Some residents are still concerned.

“Well of course you get scared,” said Barbara Barkley, who lives on the coast. “Why not? Water’s powerful; water’s deadly.”

How much coastal areas flood depends on the way the wind pushes the water.

The UNC Institute of Marine Sciences warns those who park their cars near the water to move them in case there is flooding.

For more information, head to the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences website here.