Shorter Wharf

Long Wharf in Boston flooded by king tide

Our own SwirlyGrrl took a walk down to the end of Long Wharf today to see the effects of the "king tide," a high tide two feet higher than normal caused by the alignment of the sun and moon - but which experts say will become the normal tide by 2050 as the polar ice sheets continue to melt and sea temperatures rise.

R. also went down, shows us there's even flooding beyond the Chart House:

Flooded Long Wharf

Looking towards East Boston:

Flooded Long Wharf

Like Fort Point Channel, Long Wharf currently has an installation about the plight of refugees:

Flooded Long Wharf

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Comments

Aside from the obvious...

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my reaction to that photo is: LOOK AT HOW CLEAN THAT WATER IS!!!

The best several billion dollars that we ever spent!

Next up, NSRL!

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Ignorant question

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I've never heard of these king tides before. How often do they happen in Boston? Couple times a year? Couple times a decade? Just curious.

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They're only increasing in frequency if you

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define a "king tide" as "any astronomically-high, non storm related tide that gets our feet wet"

Even after this sea-level rise makes this the new mean high water level, there will still be the same frequency of slightly higher "king tide" that will flood even more.

/pedant

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Spring Tide

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The local term for such an event is a "spring tide" and they happen quite frequently--about every new and full Moon.

It is possible that people are using "king tide" to refer to a perigean spring tide" which is a slightly enhanced spring tide that happens a few times a year when the moon is closest to Earth.

If you commute on Morrisey Blvd. you'll know that these floods happen quite frequently and there's nothing really all that special about them other than showing what global warming and sea level rise will eventually do.

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Temperature s in the 70s

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Temperature s in the 70s today, this is pure evidence that Global warming is real...
And Al Gore is doing what it takes to fix problem.

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Thank you Swirly

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Thank you Swirly for providing documented proof that this area does flood on occasion :-)

(helps both our arguments from a few weeks ago)

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Awwww, thanks

I got out there around noon. Lovely day for a PBJ and an apple shared with the rising waters.

I got some good video of ferries coming in and waking the wharf. Kind of surreal as they were on the same level.

I did get stuck by that pond at the chart house ... And watched their patio get waked by a minivan. I ended up going all the way back around to get out. I hadn't considered my exit strategy.

My husband posted some from Seaport ... Waters were high, but not totally spilling over the walkways. Very low clearance under the channel bridges. He moved our car to the high end of the lot just in case.

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You

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He moved our car to the high end of the lot just in case.

drove?

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I do own a car

Manual transmission, even. I prefer to shift for myself.

This morning it held three people headed inbound - at 34 city/48 highway, that's close to transit efficiency. We do errands on the way home.

We have put about 24,000 on it in three years - with five people of driving age in the house.

We use it when there are long distances or lots of people, lots of stuff, etc.

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I can't accept that

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I choose to believe that the three of you rode unicycles into town and balanced your shopping on your heads on the way back as you weaved a serpentine in the left lane of 28.

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Curious about seaport

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Anyone know if something similar happened to the Seaport? That's pretty much at sea level with not much holding back the water.

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I wonder?

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The Blue Line runs right under Long Wharf how long before before we have delays do to flooding?

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Oh wow

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The Blue Line runs right under Long Wharf how long before before we have delays do to flooding?

You're gonna be really scared if you ever look at a map.

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Only if the pumps stop working ...

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The Blue Line runs in a tunnel underwater. The problem would be more with a Sandy-style storm sending water into the tunnels via entrances to subway stations (such as at, oh, Aquarium), as happened in New York.

Actually, doesn't even have to be a Sandy-level storm - the T has to shut down the D line and break out the sandbags every time it looks like the Muddy River will flood (although that might change with the flood-control work along the Muddy River).

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Little known fact

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The Boylston Street subway, built basically under a "bay," has pumps that are constantly running due to groundwater issues. They maintain a redundant power system for this very purpose.

I wish I could source this, but I was talking with a retired MBTA engineer once while in the Back Bay and he explained it to me.

I want to say that the tunnels by Kenmore are deeper since the trains have to pass under the Muddy River, so D line floods tend not to affect Copley and inbounds (and if someone has better facts, trust them rather than me on this.

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MBTA does have a huge backup

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MBTA does have a huge backup power plant in southie near the old Sithe New Boston power plant. It mostly just sits idle but will auto start if the main power grid goes down.

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Water main break?

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"This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth." -- Barack Obama

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh. Not sure if it was this site or another but I recall other hysteria/photos about "rising tides" in that area turned out to be a water main break. Meanwhile Hillary's handicapped van gets 14 miles per gallon. Priceless.

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Nope

I was there. Tide.

Not that your denial of reality and delusions will ever be stopped with facts.

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Tide caused by astronomical

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Tide caused by astronomical events that've been going on for millions of years. Not global warming.

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Yes, king tides have long been a thing

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That's not the issue, though. The issue is that what is now an exceptional thing will become the norm, if not in our lifetimes, in our children's and grandchildren's lifetimes.

As for the temperature thing, my apologies if I wasn't clear. I wasn't saying that today's warm temperatures resulted in more flooding today. What I meant was that as the oceans warm up, they expand. Couple that with the fact there will simply be more water (from the melting of the polar ice) and that's not a good thing for a coastal city that consists in large part of low-lying fill, like, oh, us.

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As the oceans warm up?

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Any loss in the polar ice cap has been made up by 35 years of gains in the arctic ice cap. No net loss. Stop the hysteria about our children and grandchildren. You're only adding a few hundred million more to Al Gore's carbon credit bank account.

It's clear in the original photo (note the dry man in blue shirt resting comfortably, horizontally on sea wall) that if the water is coming from the ocean it is coming through intentional, lower openings in the sea wall, not over the wall which is dry. Was the sea wall built with openings with the King Tide in mind?

A posting about "rising sea levels" a while back turned out to be a water leak, as I noted. That section of the city is mostly filled marshland, so excuse me if Mother Nature is acting normally.

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Googling is hard, I know

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From the National Snow and Ice Data Center: "Monthly September ice extent for 1979 to 2016 shows a decline of 13.3% per decade."

About that Antarctic increase I bet you're going to try to spring, well:

Global sea ice totals vary from one year to the next. When looking for impacts of global warming, climate scientists take a longer-term view. The long-term record of global sea ice (illustrated below) shows a long-term decline of global sea ice of about 5.5%. One is free to argue whether this decline in global sea ice is important, or whether it is a result of human impacts on the climate; however, it is misleading to claim that polar sea ice has not decreased
over the historic record.

Also see, for the argument that a) the Arctic ice cap is melting to a far greater extent than the Antarctic and that b) that's particularly worrying because so much of it is on land, which means it will have a particularly dramatic impact on sea levels, as opposed to the Antarctic ice, which is already in water.

If you can't understand why tides two feet higher than now might be a problem during a storm, I hope you live on high ground.

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Wow

You are exceptionally scientifically illiterate, aren't you? Seems you never even did that ice cube in a glass with a thermometer experiment in school.

Then again, that was the good old days when they didn't teach that evil librul science nonsense - just readin writin and cypherin!

Perhaps you should just move to Florida and put your money where your ignorance is. Then again, you probably won't be alive in even ten years when it really starts going downhill.

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A water main break wouldn't

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A water main break wouldn't change the water level of the actual harbor, which is clearly visible in the photos.

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Definitely not a water main break here

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I've been working in the Custom House Block on LW for the past six years- every October and November you see tides like these.

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Pete Bouchard

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Will be talking about king tides and rising sea levels at 6 and 7:30 tonight on NECN.

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Tim Kelly

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Tim Kelly of NECN, I think, is a bit of a climate change denier though, right?

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Bouchard's report

He explained the whole earth-sun-moon gravity thing.

He also said that next month is another King Tide month and it will be an even bigger tide!

But will it be bigger than he is?

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My feet are soaked but my

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My feet are soaked but my cuffs are bone dry! Everything's coming up Milhouse!

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Jeez

Must be a broken water main there too. Just don't make them like they used to.

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Help Document King Tide

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Boston Harbor Now is looking for crowd sourced photos.

http://www.fortpointboston.com/2016/10/help-document-king-tide.html

Boston Harbor Now, Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management, the New England Aquarium and the Museum of Science are joining forces to crowdsource photos documenting portions of Boston Harbor's waterfront expected to flood during the King Tide.

Known as a "King Tide" (or locally, a "WICKED wicked high tide"), three high tides will be over two feet higher than average and give us a glimpse of Boston's average high tide sometime around or after mid-century.
The Massachusetts Coast will see its highest tides in 2016 in mid-October, when the sun and the moon are aligned and the earth orbits closest to the sun. This year, Boston Harbor's highest annual tides will occur:
Monday, October 17, 12:31 pm
Tuesday, October 18, 1:21 pm
Wednesday, October 19, 2:13 pm
Boston's waterfront:
East Boston: Meridian Street Bridge, between Central Square and Lo Presti Park
North End: North Washington Street Bridge, Battery Wharf and Lewis Wharf
Downtown: Long Wharf through India Wharf
Seaport: Fort Point Channel, Fan Pier Park, Liberty Wharf
South Boston: Castle Island, Carson Beach
Dorchester: Morrissey Boulevard, Port Norfolk, Neponset River south of Granite Avenue

If you are in one of these areas within 20 minutes of the King Tide, could you take a picture of high tide and take notes of when and where you took it? Once you're ready to send us your photos, here are two great ways to do so:
Go to MyCoast on your computer or download the MyCoast app on your tablet or smartphone and create an account to upload your photos. When you use the phone app to upload photos, the time, location and tidal phase will be automatically stamped on your photo.
If you don't want to do this for whatever reason, you can email your photos to Boston Harbor Now, care of Julie Wormser: [email protected] who will upload your photos for you. Please make sure to give the location, date and time and how to credit each photo.

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Thanks

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Great info Thanks. I may have to go see this king tide for myself. :-)

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North End, Seaport district,

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North End, Seaport district, Eastie , Get ready to pay mandatory high premium insurance rates for your properties..

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We already have mandatory

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We already have mandatory flood insurance in East Boston and it is (for my house at least) because of the river, not the ocean.

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Happens all the time

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Picture this: you have a smaller body of water flowing into a larger body of water. Only, the larger body of water is pushing back, because it's at a high level. Result: smaller body of water backs up and causes a surprising amount of destruction. If (as is common around built-up areas) the smaller stream flow is constricted near its outlet, the effect is much, much worse.

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Are we going to abandon Long Wharf?

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I doubt it.

Don't let me interrupt the backslapping going all around but shouldn't the solution be to build up at least part of the wharf?

I was never for the BRA restauarant proposed there but why not build something small,and elevated with technology that will preserve the T emergency tunnel as well as the wharf itself?

Developer funds enhancing wharf. Win/win..

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