A combination of exceptionally high tides (also known as king tides), low barometric pressure, and heavy rains brought some of the worst flooding to Island County in the last week of December 2022. Many residents sustained substantial damage to their property and possessions due to the tidal flooding. Another round of “king tides” are expected January 22 through January 24.
Prepare NOW for potential flooding.
There are many different weather sites and tide apps that you can refer to. The basis for most are tide predictions is the NOAA Tides and Currents. To use NOAA’s chart, select your location and change the dates, then select “Plot Daily” or find a tide app for your android or iphone. Most adjust to your location.
You can also receive alerts about weather and other hazards through the Island County Emergency Notification System. When signing up, select to receive all severe weather alerts. Alerts from the National Weather Service will automatically be forwarded to you. You may also download the MyAlerts app to your phone to receive notifications.
Protect Your Home
There are many retrofitting projects you can do to mitigate flood damage. Some of these include elevation, barrier systems, wet floodproofing, and dry floodproofing. These can be found in the FEMA Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting; 6 Ways to Protect Your Home from Flooding. These can take time, money, and permitting, so doesn’t help us prepare for potential flooding in a couple of weeks.
Some steps you can take now include:
- Anchor outdoor fuel tanks. Unanchored fuel tanks may move with floodwaters and cause extensive and serious damage.
- Make sure any drainage is clear and water can flow away from your property. Clear as much loose debris away from home to prevent further damage.
- Move valuables well above the flood stage or to a safer location. Ensure you have good documentation and photos of your possessions for insurance claims.
- Install sump pumps to draw water away from your home. Ensure they have a battery backup in case of power failure. Activate any other flood protection devices such as sandbags.
- Make sure your septic system is on good order prior to expected heavy rains and flooding. If needed, have a qualified technician look at it for recommendations on avoiding problems.
- Elevate major appliances on concrete blocks, if possible, to avoid damage.
- Utilize temporary flood barriers, such as sandbags, flood skirts, or inflatable flood walls. There are many local and online retailers who sell sandbags and other barriers (check at Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, Amazon).
- DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL MyCoastApp for your phone. Know the high tide time for your area. Take King Tide pictures and file reports using MyCoastApp King Tide Reporter. Your photos help document the widespread impacts of King Tides and help researchers plan for the future.
More Preparedness Tips:
- Move your vehicle to high ground before the king tide event.
- Review your flood insurance policy or consider getting one.
- Make a flood safety plan.
- Identify evacuation routes.
If you find yourself or loved ones in danger, please call 9-1-1.
For more information about Floods and how to prepare for them visit Island County Emergency Management website. Click here to go directly to the “Flood” webpage.
The Board of Island County Commissioners asked Emergency Management (Eric Brooks) to prepare mitigation and preparedness information on king tides to share with the public.
Thank you to Island County Commissioner Melanie Bacon for supplying most of the information on this page with Sound Water Stewards member, Kelly Webb.
See photos and video taken by Stewards during the December 27, 2022 King Tide floods.
Read The Seattle Times article explaining the upcoming weather and other factors affecting (or not) next week’s tides: