King tides on the rise this week

King tide
Noah Berger

Bay Area residents can expect a round of dramatic high and low tides, known as king tides, to hit the shoreline this week. These weather events, produced by the gravitation pull of the sun of the moon in combination with the Earth’s distance from the sun, can cause flooding and property damage and give climate scientists insight into the effects of sea level rise yet to come.

MTC works with partner regional agencies to come up with short- and long-term solutions to protect at-risk communities and infrastructure.

MTC in cooperation with the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, and the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, put together the Sea Level Rise Adaptation Funding and Investment Framework to determine where to invest limited funds that will have the biggest impact on shoreline communities. The framework identifies near-term sea level rise adaptations that are needed and has studied possible funding sources to implement meaningful solutions.

MTC and partners (the California Department of Transportation, Solano Transportation Authority, Sonoma County Transportation Authority and Transportation Authority of Marin and Napa Valley Transportation Authority) are working on the development of state Route 37 corridor improvements to make this critical regional transportation area higher, safer, greener and built to last. State Route 37 runs along the northern shore of San Pablo Bay and is subject to flooding during heavy rains, even when a king tide is not in effect.  

The MTC resilience program works with Plan Bay Area 2050 – the long range regional plan – to help make sure that people in the Bay Area have access to reliable and equitable transportation, and an affordable, safe place to live. The adopted plan includes long-range environmental strategies such as marsh restoration, ecotone levees, traditional levees, sea walls, and more that can help combat flooding from king tides and other storms in the future.

Another king tide occurrence is expected next month from Feb. 7-11. Plan ahead for these periods: Never drive through a flooded roadway, and if you live near the shore, clean your rain gutters and have sandbags available.

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