The Phoenix Flyer

Tampa Bay area officials express concerns about King Tide, full moon approaching

By: - August 30, 2023 12:03 pm

King Tide floods street in Miami Beach. Credit: Arianna Prothero via Flickr

Although Hurricane Idalia passed through the Tampa Bay area earlier Wednesday morning, local officials are still expressing caution.

They say that the deleterious effects of the storm aren’t over yet.

That’s in part because of an exceptionally high tide coming in the early afternoon – known as “King Tide” – a non-scientific term used to describe extremely high ocean tides, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Higher than normal tides typically also occur under a full moon, which is also taking place Wednesday.

“There is a lot of water and unfortunately there’s no time for that to recede before we get the King Tide in a few hours,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor told CBS News. “So we are looking at additional flooding here in our area. We have about 126 miles of waterfront in our city and so a lot of area to take this water on.”

The peak high King Tide is expected to arrive in St. Petersburg just before 2 p.m. Wednesday, St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch said at a press conference.

Severe flooding along coastal parts of Pinellas County and throughout the Gulf Coast has already begun following Idalia passing through the area overnight.

Two of the three bridges that connect Tampa to Pinellas County have remained shut down because of storm surge on Wednesday.

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Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has covered politics and government in Florida for more than two decades. Most recently he is the former politics reporter for Bay News 9. He has also worked at Florida Politics, Creative Loafing and WMNF Radio in Tampa. He was also part of the original staff when the Florida Phoenix was created in 2018.