King tide inundates South Sound park; could be higher Tuesday

TACOMA, Wash. — A king tide inundated a Pierce County park Monday morning and more low-lying areas could flood Tuesday.

Much of the Browns Point Lighthouse was underwater after Monday morning’s king tide.

No homes were threatened. But there is plenty of debris as the water slowly recedes.

Dash Point Park was affected by Monday morning’s king tide, too. A few logs and debris here are proof of that.

But you can actually see just how much water came up some 2 miles away, at the Browns Point Lighthouse, after the latest king tide.

Jim Harnish, vice president of the Points Northeast Historical Society that oversees the Lighthouse, says king tide flooding here is not unusual.

“No, no,” he said. “In fact, last year they were kiteboarding on that pond that was created. And then the next day, it’s all gone.”

Harnish says the king tide brings with it a lot of water here but rarely anything else.

“No huge damage,” Harnish said. “You can see the water comes up to the generator building there. Sometimes we get a little water in that building over in the boathouse.”

But people who live near the water are very familiar with what these high tides can do — 10 years ago, a so-called “100-year super tide” sent water into homes on Camano Island.

It happened all around Puget Sound in 2012, including in this Dash Point neighborhood.

Tom Irick, who has lived in the shadow of the sound for more than 30 years, says no matter where one stood, one got wet.

“I was wet up on the porch,” he said. “But you couldn’t drive around the street.”

King tides are the highest astronomical tides of the year when the moon is closest to the sun.

The National Weather Service issued alerts this week that coastal flooding is a possibility because of the king tides, something on the minds of many here.

“It is something that all property stewards and owners have to deal with as global warming increases,” said Rosemary Ponnekanti, “and as our sea level rises.”

The next king tide is expected Tuesday, starting at about 9 a.m. through 1 p.m.

So, all eyes will be on the water here and all around Puget Sound.