As 'king tide' floods Delray Beach vice mayor calling for proactive changes

As 'king tide' floods Delray Beach vice mayor calling for proactive changes

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - Flood prone areas are being hit hardest by the king tide. The annual tidal event has some streets in the historic marina district of Delray Beach underwater.

One city leader is pushing for solutions sooner rather than later.

Dave Frohman sees it twice a day this time of year: The street covered in water, the seawall no match for the king tide in the Intracoastal Waterway.

"At about 8:30 this morning, the water started to come up," Frohman says.

His house faces the Intracoastal. He's learned to expect water creeping past the sandbags outside.

"Water's gotta go somewhere, it'll go to the lowest point as fast as it can get there," he points out.

Frohman says the flooding caused by the king tide gets worse each year.

A king tide is the highest tide of the year. It occurs during a full moon. It is predictable, but can vary in strength depending on wind, water temperature and other factors.

Frohman would love to see changes on Marine Way to better protect his house, but he isn't optimistic.

"Something will get done. When? I have no idea. In my lifetime? I hope so," he says.

Vice Mayor Shelly Petrolia says now is the time to act.

"Doing nothing is not an option, that's the truth. We have to do something, we have to have address this, silence is not a solution," she says.

Petrolia has sent emails to city commissioners and staff members, even writing a letter to the editor in the Sun Sentinel, urging local and state leaders to be proactive.

She suggests banning developers from building underground parking garages. The city allowed Atlantic Crossing, a project currently in development, to have a below ground parking lot.

Petrolia also suggests changing the minimum height for new homes to be built, keeping them out of harm's way.

She'd also like the city to explore raising seawalls.

"There's the old adage, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," she points out, explaining making changes now could save the city money in the long run.

Frohman wonders if the ideas will work. He admits he's not moving, no matter what.

"Is it worth it to live here? yeah, it's worth it, if you're prepared," he answers his own question.

Delray Beach city staff members are keeping an eye on the floods caused by the king tide. Inspectors were out Tuesday looking for potholes and issues with seawalls and drains.

During a strong high tide in September, the public boat dock at Veterans Park was damaged and has been closed since.

Experts advise against driving your car through the brackish water which floods the roads.

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