Surprise! Another day of flooding for coastal GA/SC

I didn’t bother to check the updates this morning, but it looks like the high tide this morning was actually higher than yesterday, and busted in to the top 5 records at 10.45 feet (preliminary). That flooded US 80 (the road to Tybee). NWS/Charleston also got caught a bit off guard (although they did still have coastal flood advisories in effect), saying in the early morning discussion (referring to the coastal surge models) ….

However, that guidance has consistently over predicted tides for several days now. Thus we are reluctant to utilize it for this morning.

That was my thinking as well. Probably should have re-examined that plan. Here’s the tide graph from Ft. Pulaski as of 2:30pm EDT:

(The weird jog at 3am is due to the time shift)

So why? Several things – onshore winds stayed above that forecast for longer than expected, a big factor was more rain than expected (5 inches here in midtown), and the marshes just didn’t have a chance to drain out overnight (notice in the above plot how high the “low” tides are, two feet above normal). For what it’s worth, both the models and humans are saying tomorrow morning’s high tide should be at least a foot lower (~9.5 feet, which is the flood stage for this gauge, and at which Catalina Dr and Lewis Ave start to get wet on Tybee).

Bottom line:

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