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King Tide higher than expected in Hampton

Union Leader Correspondent

December 04. 2017 11:44PM
This house on Island Path in Hampton was still surrounded by water Monday afternoon as the King Tide receded. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/Union Leader Correspondent)

Large waves were pounding the shoreline in Hampton Monday even after the King Tide started to recede. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/Union Leader Correspondent)

HAMPTON — Side roads were covered in ocean water and waves splashed over barricades in Hampton Monday as the King Tide rolled in just after 11 a.m.

Chris Legro, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, said the tide was even higher than predicted. Tide charts had it forecasted at 10.7 feet. Legro said it was measured at 11.2 feet.

That means Tuesday’s high tide at about noon could be larger than the predicted 10.8 feet, Legro said. That is expected to be the highest tide of the year.

Legro said the Seacoast will experience some windy weather that could impact the Hampton region, but those winds are not expected to arrive until after the high tide Tuesday.

“It looks like we’ll escape that, which will be good,” Legro said.

Those who intend to take pictures of the King Tide Tuesday should note that the air temperature will be about 50 degrees, but the water temperature is 40 degrees and the waves along some parts of the beach are very strong.

Roger Stephenson, senior outreach consultant for the Union of Concerned Scientists, said nuisance flooding caused by King Tides provides a glimpse into the future as sea levels rise.

The Union of Concerned Scientists has analyzed flooding models for 2060 to 2100, and by the middle of this century, large chronically flooded zones will emerge in cities and towns that seldom or never flood today.

Chronic flooding will profoundly affect large portions of Boston, Fort Lauderdale, New Haven, Newark, Oakland and four of New York City’s five boroughs under moderate to worst-case scenarios, according to research by the scientists.

Stephenson said top credit rating agencies are now telling coastal towns and cities that they must come up with a preparation plan for rising sea levels or they risk losing access to credit.

Bloomberg reported last week that Moody’s Investors Service Inc. incorporates climate change into its credit ratings for state and local bonds.

The King Tides end in Hampton on Wednesday, when tides are predicted to be 10.6 feet at 12:53 p.m.

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