BEAUFORT, N.C. (WNCT) — The King Tides Project is seeking to learn more about what the future could look like for coastal towns. Scientists with the project are asking people to take photos of flooding in communities and submit them for research.

A king tide is a term commonly used to describe exceptionally high tides.

Dr. Christine Voss, research associate with the Institute of Marine Sciences, said we can take advantage of the extra-high water levels to visualize what higher sea levels in the future will look like.

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“So basically, what Eastern North Carolina is going to experience this weekend is what a typical storm will look like when our water levels are higher a couple decades down the road,” said Voss.

Beaufort is one town that expects to be significantly affected by the coastal storm that’s expected to hit. Mayor Rhett Newton said the community is prepared, but other factors could make the situation worse.

“We are accustomed to high tides, but the worst case scenario would be getting a storm at the same time,” said Newton.

Voss said this weekend, in particular, storm systems are also in play.

“Matter of fact, in our sounds here in the central and the Carolina coast and up our rivers, we’re probably seeing that peak high tide from this morning propagate back into the estuary,” Voss said.

Newton added that it’s time to really start paying attention to rising sea levels, saying, “Global warming is real, and we are very vulnerable here, so we need to be able to do our part.”

Voss also said they aren’t only looking for photos of events related to tides but also any flooding or high water you may find. She also emphasized to please prioritize your personal safety over getting photos.

Any photos can be summited to the King Tide Project’s website which can be found here.