Measuring the effect of the King Tide in Miami

Last week, the King Tide inundated parts of Miami, flooding parking lots, pushing water up through grates and pipes that should be dry, and previewing the kind of flooding that will likely inundate the city daily in future years.

And during the highest tide of the year, Florida International University hosted its annual Sea Level Solutions Day this past weekend. Several professors, students and members of the community gathered near Vizcaya, then dispersed to various locations to collect water samples and measure water levels.

The groups sampled sites in places such as Shorecrest, Virginia Key Beach, and Key Biscayne. Members were given test kits to collect data. They recorded observations and sent them to a larger dataset that will be used to compare sea level rise over time.

“We do have tools that help us predict where we would expect [flooding] to be, but we just need to get better information and keep collecting this data over long term to see the status,” said Brad Schonhoff, program manager for the FIU Institute of Water and Environment.

When they finished, they created an interactive map that showed as much as 10 inches of flooding in some places (including Shorecrest) at high tide.

These datasets and measurements are crucial for the future of communities in South Florida. According to the Miami-Dade government website, South Florida is already seeing the consequences of sea-level rise, ranging from urban flooding to delays in draining roadways after heavy rainfall.

In order to gather as much data as possible during the King Tide, the Sea Level Solutions Center is hosting another Solutions Day event on October 27. For more information visit Eventbrite.