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2015 Spring High Tides

Post Date:April 06, 2015 10:25 AM

Flooding in low-lying areas is more likely when the close proximity of the moon, high tides, rising sea levels and inclement weather conditions combine to exacerbate flooding risks.

As a coastal community with numerous low-lying areas and 300 miles of canal coastline, Fort Lauderdale neighbors are advised to be especially vigilant during the months of September, October and November.  The City of Fort Lauderdale anticipates above-average high tides on the following dates in 2015, please note that these dates are not limited to the fall months: 

April 17 - 18
August 29 - September 2
September 26 - October 2
October 24 - 31
November 24 - 27

While the City maintains an extensive stormwater master plan and is instituting both aggressive maintenance and innovative adaptation solutions to address drainage, the location and natural geography of the City makes neighborhoods susceptible to flooding.

Please take the time to evaluate your property's readiness, review your insurance policy and create an emergency plan.  Visit these pages to learn more about how to prepare and what the City is doing to increase Fort Lauderdale's Climate Resiliency.

What is a Tide?

The word “tide” is a generic term used to define the rise and fall of sea level with respect to land. Tides are influenced by the gravitational attraction of the moon and sun. In addition, tides are affected by other factors such as: coastline configuration, local water depth, wind, and weather conditions. Twice a day, tides peak to a high and low water level, commonly referred to 
as “high tide” and “low tide.”

Knowledge of the tide times and predicted heights are important to various applications such as: emergency preparedness; maritime navigation; the construction of bridges, docks, and seawalls; and the operation of wastewater and storm water collection systems. Tide information is indispensable to the fishing, boating, surfing, and other water-related industries. Currently, this information is critical to understanding flooding which impacts the City during weather events, particularly in low-lying areas.

Tide Predictions

Tide predictions can differ from the actual sea level rise or fall that occurs. Predicted tidal heights are those expected during average weather conditions. When weather conditions differ from what is considered average, water levels can be significantly altered. Generally, prolonged onshore winds (wind towards the land) or low barometric pressure can produce higher sea levels than predicted, while offshore winds (wind away from the land) and high barometric pressure can result in lower sea levels than predicted.

High tides are produced from the flow of water toward positions on Earth where the gravitational forces of the sun and moon are the strongest. Low tides are created at a point midway between the two positions. The alternating between high and low tides is caused by the daily rotation of the Earth. There are peak high tides in each month. Typically the City of Fort Lauderdale experiences its highest tides during the months of September, October and November.

These high tides may cause ocean and canal waters to rise above elevations of land, including streets and seawalls in low-lying areas of Fort Lauderdale and throughout South Florida, thus causing tidal flooding of those areas.

The City’s installation of 37 tidal valves in flood prone neighborhoods to date has reduced the impact of high tides in those locations. Onshore winds can exacerbate coastal flooding and concurrent rain events may increase incidences of flooding further inland as the high tides impede drainage.

In addition, to reduce flooding from tides and rains, the City is currently implementing its Stormwater Master Plan to improve system operation and reduce flooding incidence through means including additional one-way tidal valves, bioswales, pervious pavers, stormwater preserves, improved pumping stations, and seawall repairs.

Useful Resources 

The City website provides detailed information about flooding including flood zonesmitigation, safety and protection measures. The site includes links to useful guides, maps and resources from the City, Broward County, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other organizations.

Neighbors may visit the following links for additional information:

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Flood Smart

Flood Protection Flyer

Request a Property Flood Zone Determination Letter

Tide Table

Neighbors may contact the City’s 24-Hour Customer Service Center at 954-828-8000 with questions or concerns or to report incidents of flooding.

Customer Service may also be reached via LauderServ, the City’s mobile application. For more information about LauderServ 
or to download the mobile application, please visit www.fortlauderdale.gov/lauderserv.


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