King of Tides
Every person knows by the time they reach adulthood that life has its ups and downs. It is the way of the world. Life’s uncertainty itself makes life worth living. Much like life itself, Fort Lauderdale has its ups and downs as well. The unforgiving I-95 traffic at 5 PM can be a seemingly vacant parking lot three hours later. One moment the sun is bearing down and the next you need a snorkel to walk out to the mailbox.
Living in a coastal subtropical region is wonderful. The close proximity to the surf, sand and the relentless warmth of the sun all year round is infectious. Like the sun burns your skin the coastal lifestyle burns its signature into your soul. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But, as they say, life catches up with you. Life on the coast isn’t without its ups and downs. Particularly the ups and downs of the tide.
Every year we are greeted by what’s called a “king tide“. A king tide is simply an especially high spring tide. “Spring” is derived not from the season but from the action – to spring forth – or to jump. Especially destructive, these tides often rack up hundreds upon thousands in property and other damage each year. Looking at images of this type of flooding it appears quite tame. The underlying destruction is anything but. It is for this particular reason that basements are not a common feature of homes in South Florida.
The salt water that covers the roads and seeps into homes is corrosive. Salt water is especially damaging to vehicles. This is known in colder regions due to the salting of roads after a snow storm. Much like road salt, ocean water is just a damaging, however, flooding a car can even render it totaled.
Residents along Las Olas Boulevard are no strangers to these king tides as they come virtually worse every year. Homes in this area are at high risk of flood damage yearly. These homes are practically surrounded by water. The rising tides flood the ground level of their homes. If the ocean water makes its way into the home major reconstruction may have to be performed. Flood water ruins drywall and leaves porous surfaces at risk of mold production.
Las Olas Underwater
In October last year a king tide rose to heights several inches deep covering Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. The water was said to have been about “calf-deep”. Residents were seen preparing for the flooding by the use of sandbags in an effort to protect their homes and vehicles. Others simply fled inland and decided to wait it out only to assess the damages when all was said and done.
Flood water also poses a public health risk. When a king tide occurs, for instance, and the water level rises it renders the sewer drains useless. Waste from the sewer, chemicals and pollutants from the road settle above-ground. Taking precaution during a flood of this sort should not be overlooked. If you ever find yourself in a flood situation be sure to protect your skin and avoid touching the water.
Stay current on the tide levels to keep you and your loved ones safe. Whether you are here visiting or you live here. Keep from coming into contact with flood water. If you drive through flood water make sure you rinse your vehicle down to avoid potential damage. And if you live here I have two words for you… Flood Insurance.
Featured Image Source: Sun Sentinel