SEATTLE — Many communities across the Puget Sound region are preparing for King Tides that are forecast to rise this weekend through early next week.
The tides are set to rise less than a month after the last set caused flooding in several areas.
KIRO 7′s Ranji Sinha listened to a webinar from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which laid out what to expect.
On Dec. 27, parts of Seattle’s South Park neighborhood experienced devastating flooding during the last set of King Tides. To prepare for the next round, the city has set up five pump stations, and public works crews will be on standby starting this weekend. Hundreds of sandbags line alleys, homes, and businesses.
In Whatcom County, the high tide flooded Sandy Point, and in Snohomish County, parts of Edmonds were also underwater.
During the NOAA webinar, officials reviewed what made December’s King Tides unique: Strong winds contributed along with heavy rain, but the bigger influence was atmospheric pressure that allowed a stronger storm surge.
Officials said many of those factors will not come together for the upcoming King Tide event.
“We’re not expecting significant winter waves, river levels, heavier than expected snowmelt — none of those are expected to be a factor over the upcoming week,” said Reid Walcott with NOAA. “So we might experience some very minor tidal — very typical tidal overflow with this even, things that we see multiple times every year, but it’s expected to be absolutely nothing like what we saw at the end of December.”
The last round of King Tides from Dec. 26 to 27 also brought high water to Olympia.
An Evergreen College professor estimated that the tide reached a high of nearly 16.5 feet.
The tides also caused some damage on Whidbey Island. Viewers shared video showing debris, logs and muck that washed ashore.
Officials also said that currently, there is no official forecast for tide levels on the West Coast, but that could change.
©2023 Cox Media Group