Water is what connects us in South Florida. No matter where we are from or how we got here, or where we live or work, water surrounds us. And this time of year, the rising seas, driven by the pull of the sun and moon, can spill over our edges, bubble up from below and seep into our lives.
This year’s king tides are not as high as they have been in recent years. The seasonal highest of high tides are about a foot lower this autumn compared to a year ago and six inches lower than 2016, according to data from Virginia Key analyzed by FIU Earth and Environment Professor and Sea Level Solutions Committee member Mike Sukop.
There are several possible reasons why: a faster Florida current that doesn’t allow the water to pile up, and the absence of a super moon during the king tides are among some of the explanations.
WLRN visited five South Floridians living with king tides. We toured their neighborhoods with them, looking at evidence of high water and seeing how some are responding to the threat. We walked along the sidewalk with traffic buzzing nearby, hearing how they have adapted their lives and businesses to higher seas and the highest of the high tides. You can follow our path in this interactive map: