Vancouver preps shorelines for incoming king tides
Published Tuesday, November 15, 2016 11:39AM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 15, 2016 11:57AM PST
Seasonal king tides are going to start slamming Vancouver's shorelines this week, potentially putting some homes at risk of flooding.
The tides, also known as perigean spring tides, happen twice a year when the sun and moon's gravitational forces strengthen each other, causing tall and destructive waves. They are usually more troublesome in the winter, particularly when they coincide with major storms.
Homes along Marine Drive, across from Locarno Beach, have been damaged by the tides before, but the city has put down 3,500 sandbags in the neighbourhood in order to protect them.
King tides also caused damage in Stanley Park and at Kitsilano Beach in 2012, and in 2014 the powerful waves destroyed a section of seawall in Delta's Boundary Bay and flooded homes in West Vancouver.
Damage from king tides used to be a rarity, but officials now expect the problem to get worse every year.
"With the sea level rise we're experiencing due to climate change, those king tides keep rising even higher," Mayor Gregor Robertson said at a press conference last week.
Vancouver staff is considering a number of options to deal with rising sea levels that are more permanent than sandbagging, including raising the seawall or building a levy. There is also an option for buiding a storm surge barrier under the Burrard Bridge to protect Granville Island, but that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
To learn more about king tides and see a chart for the entire season, which is expected to last until mid-December, visit the B.C. government website.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Nafeesa Karim