King Tide Makes a Splash in New England | NECN
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King Tide Makes a Splash in New England

King tide occurs when the sun, moon and earth align

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    One of the highest tides of the year brought out plenty of spectators to Long Wharf in Boston on Tuesday. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016)

    One of the highest tides of the year brought out plenty of spectators to Long Wharf in Boston, but it also brought out concern among those who worry it could frequent problem in the future.

    King tide occurs when the sun, moon and earth align. Gravity increases when the earth and moon are closest together, which helps increase the tide.

    On Tuesday in Boston, the tide was roughly two feet higher than normal. King tide flooded streets near Long Wharf and left puddles along the Fort Point Channel.

    While some were busy taking it in or dipping their toes in, others were surveying which parts of Boston flood first.

    "What we're seeing here is what normal high tide is going to look like around or after mid-century," Julie Wormser of Boston Harbor Now said.

    Wormser said with the sea level rising each year, it will not take a King tide to flood streets in the future. She predicts it will happen a lot more often and so do several waterfront business owners.

    "In the future, we are quite certain there will be regular water days just as there are snow days in Boston because some streets will just not be passable," Ellen Watts said.

    It is why they say the infrastructure needs to start changing before the rare spectacle becomes a constant headache.

    "Chart House, Back Bay, the Innovation District, all of it is going to be underwater a few times of month if we don't take action," Daniel Benstein said.

    The moon is expected to be even closer to the earth in November, when the highest tide of the year is expected to occur.

    Waterfront business owners are hoping that does not coincide with a nor'easter because storm surges coupled with a King tide can be extremely damaging and dangerous.

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