The King of Tides

(Photo courtesy David Nelson)

CENTRAL COAST — Citizen scientists all along the coast have been documenting the impacts of king tides to their beaches, rivers and estuaries. The tides brought brimming water to the edge of David Nelson’s porch at the confluence of the Yaquina River and Wright Creek on Dec. 23.

A series of tides in 9-foot range swamped a beachside park near Toledo and sent waves into a parking lot along Alsea Bay over the weekend as people got out with their cameras and notebooks to document the erosion and flooding from these tides, among the highest of the year.

The high water didn’t happen to coincide with any storm surge from the winter storms that had rolled into the area earlier that week, so effects were not as dramatic as they could have been. But the next really big tides, pegged at more than 10 feet on Jan. 20-22, could be a different story, said CoastWatch volunteer coordinator Fawn Custer.

“If we had a storm surge that brought in another five feet, what kind of effects are we going to see then,” she said.

A third king tide series will appear Feb. 18-20. 

— Bret Yager

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(Photo courtesy David Nelson)