Biking to work this morning, I thought the low-lying area near our office looked especially swampy. I soon found out that this was no backed-up storm drain but in fact a very high tide due to water being pushed by Hurricane Ike. The water has receded a little for now, but this morning I estimate it peaked at 5 1/2 to 6 feet above normal sea level. High enough to cover the beach all the way up to the seawall, close parts of US 90 and other streets around Biloxi.
NORTHEAST TO EAST WINDS WILL INCREASE TO 25 TO 35 MPH ALONG THE COAST…EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER…LATE TONIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY. THESE WINDS WILL PILE WATER ONTO THE MISSISSIPPI COAST
COASTAL STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 5 TO 7 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS…ALONG WITH LARGE AND DANGEROUS WAVES…CAN BE EXPECTED ALONG THE MISSISSIPPI AND SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA COAST. TIDES ARE TWO TO FOUR FEET ABOVE NORMAL LATE THIS MORNING AND WILL CONTINUE TO INCREASE 5 TO 7 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TODAY AND REMAIN ANOMALOUSLY HIGH INTO SATURDAY BEFORE SLOWLY ABATING LATE SATURDAY INTO SUNDAY. FLOODING OF COASTAL AREAS…INCLUDING ACCESS ROADS…OUTSIDE OF HURRICANE PROTECTION LEVEE SYSTEMS IS OCCURRING AT THIS TIME.
Thank you National Weather Service. Thank you and your odd use of ellipses. More flooding photos below.
The grass parking area by the Center shows why you should let a bayou stay a bayou. Also, there’s Seth! Seth is the new Rose Fellow at the GCCDS, and a fine fellow indeed.
More of the flooding parking lot:
Strangi Avenue is a small street that is nestled between bayou on either side. It’s low-lying and, for obvious reasons, the houses we’ve done on it are all elevated 9 or 10 feet above grade. The flood waters have completely closed it off:
Some major roads were also flooding, including US 90 (Beach Boulevard):
Water was coming all the way up the beach. The barrier islands keep the waves to a minimum but it was impressive to see the beach gone. I didn’t get a great picture because it started pouring seconds later:
We were all pretty excited to see flooding in action, and learn a little bit more about the topography of the area, without actually being in danger from the hurricane. This is why you elevate houses! Anyone who built back on grade and is currently sitting in a foot or two of water should be kicking themselves right now.
Update 5:10 PM: The City of Biloxi has a bunch of photos of the flooding online here.