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Md. Officials Ask Public To Document ‘King Tides’ This Week

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Alex DeMetrick 370x278 Alex DeMetrick
Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — King tides. If the name isn’t familiar, it’s because they don’t happen every day.

But king tides are happening in Maryland later this week, and Alex DeMetrick reports the state is asking the public’s help to document them.

Last month, it was the West Coast that lined up just right for a king tide: a combination of the earth’s rotation along with a direct alignment with the moon and sun.

“It’s been coming in incredibly fast. Looked like it was filling up a bathtub,” said a California man.

“They’re the highest tides of the year. Usually they happen twice a year–once in December and maybe once in June,” said Kate Skaggs, DNR.

And this year along the Atlantic coast, it’s happening in January. From Wednesday to Sunday, king tides here and in portions of the Chesapeake are expected but not on the scale of California’s king tides.

“No, not that high here. They’re much more dramatic on the West Coast than they are here in Maryland,” Skaggs said.

Even if they don’t cause street flooding here, the Department of Natural Resources is asking Marylanders living near water to do what Californians did and take photographs of even minor flooding during the high tides.

While king tides are not part of climate change, they could pinpoint the areas most vulnerable to rising sea levels.

“They may give us an indication of how sea level rise could look in the area. If we get another superstorm or if coastal hazards increase, we’ll have an idea where to start from, which areas that experience flooding first,” Skaggs said.

Documenting king tides with pictures is part of a global study. Any taken here can be posted to the Maryland King Tides Photo Group on the flickr.com website.

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