FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – King tides caused a flood of problems this week in parts of Fort Lauderdale, and it’s only expected to get worse.
The City of Fort Lauderdale has spent years planning for this.
This week’s tides measured 16 inches higher than predicted, all thanks to recent storms and easterly winds piling water up the coastline.
Because of that, residents in flood-prone areas are seeing a foot or more of standing water in their neighborhoods, among other issues.
“Every manhole is bubbling up, it’s frustrating,” said resident Will Shriner.
The City of Fort Lauderdale has seven miles of shoreline and 165 miles of inland waterways, so many neighborhoods will be impacted by the rising water levels.
“Over the next five years, we’ll be spending $200 million on storm water improvements alone throughout the city,” Said Dr. Nancy Gassman, Fort Lauderdale Assistant Public Works Director.
Some of the improvements have already been completed, like $3 million 900-foot linear sea wall constructed along the Isle of Palms Drive and Las Olas Blvd.
The original sea wall was overtopped during high tides, making the road impassable.
Now, during the peak of high tide, the homes in front of the new wall are dry, while others down the block, without the seawall’s protection, have street flooding.
“This type of improvement will substantially reduce the intensity, the duration, and frequency of the flooding,” said Dr. Gassman.
Another sea wall is in the works along flood-prone Cordova Road in Fort Lauderdale’s Rio Vista neighborhood. It’s expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Pump stations are also working to reduce the amount of rising water, .and 177 tidal valves have been installed throughout the city to keep water off of the roadways.
Over the course of the next five to 10 years, the city will be adding 24 more sea walls to flood prone areas.