Collins Island

King Tide

February 8, 2013

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The highest tide was scheduled for 7:18 am, February 8, 2013. I wanted to experience the rising levels so I arrived 30 minutes early.

It was predicted to be the highest tide of the year, plus rain was expected.

It was actually sort of disappointing...

Pump in back of truck

Since it was scheduled to rain during this period of high tides, the City of Newport Beach deployed their high-capacity pumps to remove rainwater from their storm drain collection system.

Pump Truck

Decades ago, the city installed shut-off gates where their stoam drains empty into the harbor. These can be closed to keep water from flooding backward during high tide, when Balboa Island is below sea level.

Just like Holland! derp!

The problem is that when it rains, with the flood gates closed, there is nowhere for the rain run-off to go. So the storm drains run to collection sumps scattered around the island and during periods of high tide plus rain, city trucks are deployed to pump the rainwater over the seawall and into the harbor.

When he was City Manager, Bob Wynn told my father that each rainy day cost the City of Newport Beach an extra $200,000 to operate.

That was in the 1990s. I'm guessing that figure is higher now.

storm drain sump

You can’t see it in this picture of a sump, but there’s a giant strum box on the end of the pump-out hose.

Collins Island

I walked around Balboa Island looking for the best picture showing the tide above the level of the sidewalk. The photo-ops simply were not very spectacular. In fact, the entire “King Tide” phenomenon was a let-down.

This shot showing the channel between Balaboa Island and Collins Island probably shows the sea-level best.

photo from ferry

I leave you with this final shot taken from the loading pier for the Balboa Ferry.


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