On YouTube: NYSG Provides Fast Draw Video on High Tide Flooding
Jamaica Bay / NYC - News

Brooklyn, NY, July 6, 2020 - Coastal communities experience the low and high tides of the ocean every day. However there are some days where these tides can be extremely low and extremely high. During these extremely high tides, low-lying areas that border water bodies now flood. This is known as high tide flooding.

High tide flooding typically occurs a few times a year during the new and/or full moons, when the moon, Earth, and sun are aligned, causing a stronger gravitational force, resulting in higher than usual tide levels.  

Seasons can also influence high tide flooding. As you go from the summer to fall, the air temperature gets cooler but the ocean temperatures can retain some of that heat. That warm water expands and takes up more space that colder water so it increases the volume of the ocean. The fall months often experience extremely high tides because of this and changing weather patterns, increasing coastal sea levels.

When high tide flooding occurs, water from the coast or bay spills onto land causing public inconvenience like overwhelmed storm drains, road closures, or blocked access.

When there is a coastal storm coinciding with these high tides, the flooding can be worse. Even moderate onshore winds during high tide events can push huge volumes of water inland. Rain can add even more water to the system and further increase flooding.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, high tide flooding in the United States has increased by over 100% since the year 2000.

In the Northeast Atlantic, it is predicted that by the year 2030, there would be about 15-25 days of flooding in a year; by 2050, 40-130 days of flooding in a year.  

Flooding in a region or even a city can vary. For example, in New York City, areas like lower Manhattan experienced 2-5 days of flooding in a year whereas areas in Southern Queens experienced 30-50 days of flooding in that same year.

There are things you can right now like prepare, plan, talk to your neighbors. 

Many people are documenting these events by taking photographs.

By reporting and sharing information about flooding, we can better communicate and help prepare for future flooding. 

Raising public awareness of potential flooding before it occurs, is a step towards resilience.

More Info: New York Sea Grant and SRIatJB

The Science and Resilience Institute @ Jamaica Bay (SRIJB) is a research center focused on enhancing environmental, social, and economic resilience in communities of Jamaica Bay funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and the City of New York.

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly. Our program also produces an occasional e-newsletter,"NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog, www.nyseagrant.org/blog.

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