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California sees unusually high 'king tides'

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 14, 2012 at 12:15 am •  Published: December 14, 2012

The tide at Marin City reached 7 feet, slightly higher than during last December's king tides, which prompted the California Highway Patrol to temporarily close a local highway connector ramp due to roadway flooding mid-morning.

The damage could have been much worse if the weather had brought big waves along with the high tides, National Weather Service forecaster Larry Smith said.

"Right now it's just a neat thing.... When we have the low tide this afternoon you will be see father out than you normally would," Smith said. "It kind of does give you a glimpse of what the future might be with the sea level rise."

The tides reached over 10 feet in Redwood City, a bit above predicted levels, the National Weather Service said.

The event provided organizers of the California King Tides Initiative an opportunity to get California residents thinking about and preparing for the future. The 3-year-old initiative, sponsored by government and nonprofit groups, enlists camera-toting volunteers to photograph the King Tides as an illustration of what low-lying coastal areas could look like if predictions about the Earth's climate come to pass.

As of Thursday afternoon, about 100 new snapshots had been uploaded to the photo-sharing project, coordinator Heidi Nuttles said.

"It's definitely very high tides this year, and we just encourage people to use this opportunity to go out, take pictures and reflect what this means for our shoreline and the fact that's its constantly changing even today, and how that might affect how we think about sea level rise in the future," Nuttles said.


Flaccus reported from Huntington Beach. Leff reported from San Francisco. Los Angeles science writer Alicia Chang contributed to this report.