Supermoon brings high tides, potential for flooding along Grand Strand

GARDEN CITY, SC (WBTW) – The earth is feeling the full effects of the “Supermoon,” which has not been this close to the earth since 1948.

However, this “Supermoon” is causing high tides that could impact several areas prone to flooding along the Grand Strand.

“When we’re really close, these gravitational forces are stronger,” said Coastal Carolina University Marine Science Professor, Paul Gayes. “When everything’s in alignment, the earth, the moon and the sun, the gravitational forces are stronger and when that adds together we get these elevated tides.”

Gayes said those tides could bring up to two additional feet of water along the coast. Areas like Cherry Grove, Garden City and Pawleys Island could see flooding because of these unusually high tides.

“Those typically get it,” added Gayes. “What’s interesting to think about is these are happening every year and each year sea level is coming up a little bit.”

Those rising sea levels are environmental factors Gayes said cannot be stopped.

“We’re going to see these pressures more and more frequently impacting our community,” he added.

Gayes said these tides could be dangerous because the beaches are still suffering from Hurricane Matthew.

“It really did a lot of damage in removing a lot of the dune structures along the coast,” said Gayes. “Those dunes are the first line of defense for our beach systems and the land forms behind them.”

NASA said a full moon won’t come this close to Earth again until November 2034.