‘King Tide’ could create flooding, erosion issues on North Strand

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – There is a chance for even more flooding in spots along the Grand Strand, as a so called ‘King Tide’ event has higher than normal tides forecast for the South Carolina Coast.

‘King Tides’ are the highest seasonal tides that occur each year. North Myrtle Beach expects to see tides up to two feet higher than usual.

When tides get this high, the threat of beach erosion increases, especially in spots where the beach has already been compromised by Tropical Storm Ana, Hurricane Joaquin, and record rainfall.

Higher than normal tides are expected from October 25th through October 31st, and beaches that have already seen plenty of erosion are set to see more.

“It’s to the point where when high tide comes, everyone just packs up and goes plays cards,” said Jennifer Mattocks.

Mattocks lives in a low lying street in Cherry Grove. Beyond high tides and the threat of erosion, streets like the one on which Mattocks lives are also at risk of flooding.

“Yay! I mean, we just did a great job cleaning up our room that always floods, we’re losing the beach and we’ll be back to do this again really soon,” laughs Mattocks with a hint of sarcasm.

Rain or high winds can make flooding even worse, but tidal flooding can happen unexpectedly. The YouTube video below from Rick Knight showcases rising waters in the Cherry Grove area Tuesday morning.

“The red moon tide surprised us. I didn’t have any idea it was going to flood my yard, but it did,” said Al Shotwell.

Shotwell has lived in the city for more than 20 years and says he’s seen more flooding this year than he can remember in any other year.

“You can see up the road where the debris floated, all the way up there that mulch,” pointing to a spot in the street 30 yards past his front steps.

Shotwell has seen some effects from all that tidal water on his property, but still counts himself lucky.

“Well, it killed a lot of the plants but at least I don’t have a swimming pool. A lot of the people across the pond got their pools treated with mulch,” states Shotwell.

Looking ahead, drivers should avoid traveling on flooded streets and sidewalks, and if barricades are erected, police ask drivers not to go past them.

A similar high tide scenario is also forecast to occur in late November.

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