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Supermoon leads to another round of king tides

Flooding reported in Broward, Miami-Dade counties

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The supermoon led to another round of king tides Tuesday throughout South Florida.

Matheson Hammock Park in Coral Gables was completely flooded in some areas, with water nearly up to the knees.

Much of the water was drained later in the morning, but some people Local 10 News reporter Ian Margol spoke to said the flooding should serve as a wake-up call for elected leaders.

A parking lot in the area was submerged Tuesday, and signs throughout the park warned people to drive at their own risk because of the flooding.

Some residents made their way into the park to check out the flooding for themselves, some even fighting their way through the water on bicycles.

"Usually it doesn't fill up the parking lot, that's for sure," Luis Geada said. "And as you can see down there, it's pretty crazy. It's definitely not a normal high tide, that's for sure."

The water was so high in certain areas that cars with low suspensions couldn't make it through. That’s why Robert Byrd, who drives a truck, said he gave a park employee a lift.

"I've grown up here. I've lived here all my life," Byrd said. "This is a king tide, this is the highest tide, whatever, but we never had this growing up. This is water-level rise."

Byrd said he hopes local leaders take action.

"People who represent us should come out here and see this," he said.

People here at the park said there is some flooding during a regular high tide, but nothing like Tuesday's flooding.

Pompano Beach also experienced heavy flooding in some areas, as the king tides caused water to creep out the storm drains, flooding roads and sidewalks.

"We saw the water creeping up slowly. We were like, 'Wow, it's flooding,'" Annika Erekin said. "They had water that has gone up to the bushes right there."

The water was so high that some fish found a new set of swimming grounds closer to shore. Aida Erekin, 10, who is visiting from Sweden cast her fishing rod and got a bite.

"It's a fish. He just popped up," she said.

The increased gravitational pull from the supermoon is what leads to bigger tides. The moon hasn't been this close to Earth is nearly 70 years, but Aida thought the supermoon was similar to the fish she caught -- small.

"I thought it was going to be bigger. It was so small," she said.

Meanwhile, Fort Lauderdale city leaders said their concern is that more and more streets will continue to be affected by the king tides.

"We've been tracking the areas that are regularly flooded and what we're discovering is that, as these events get a little more extreme, we start adding new neighborhoods to the list of neighborhoods we need to watch," Dr. Nancy Gassman said.

Gassman is a marine biologist and assistant public works director for the city of Fort Lauderdale.

"With the increase in sea level rise over the last 100 years, these king tides are now reaching levels we've never seen before," she said.

Gassman said the city is pursuing a comprehensive storm water master plan to address infrastructure and flood protection improvements citywide.

City leaders said 171 miles of storm water pipes, and 8,000 catch basins  and pumps need to be maintained and updated. The plan could cost anywhere from $500 million to $1 billion over the next 10 years.

Gassman said the passage of the half-cent sales tax would have helped fund some of those projects that she said would help address the high water.

Broward County voters shot that down on Election Day, so finding the money to get all the necessary work done will be the next challenge, either through a special assessment or other means. 

The water is expected to rise again about 10 p.m. Tuesday at high tide.


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