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Another new-normal highest tide in Camden

By Susan Mustapich | Nov 16, 2020
Photo by: Susan Mustapich The seawall around the base of Harbor Park was originally intended to protect the park grounds from ocean waters.

CAMDEN — Flooding of the seawall at Harbor Park is now a regular event during the highest high tides, which occur twice each month during the full moon and new moon.

After a moderate rain storm with high southeasterly winds, the tide in Camden Harbor was very high Nov. 16, but not the highest seen over the past few years. The wind had died down by the time high tide occurred at 11:10 a.m..

The water rose near to the top of the pier on the Public Landing. It spilled over the seawall at Harbor Park, placing the wooden benches there in pools of lapping water.

At the head of Camden Harbor, water lines on the siding of two large buildings at the water's edge showed how high the tide had risen. One of these buildings is the National Landmark-designated American Boathouse, recently restored to its original condition by Cynthia and John Reed. The other is referred to as the red shed, owned by Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding/Camden Properties LLC, which has Planning Board approval to demolish and rebuild it.

Of the two high tides each day and night, one is higher than the other. The highest high tide is a calculation of the average of the highest daily tides over a year.

The highest tides lead to flooding during rain storms, storms that blow in from the ocean, and snow melt. These three situations can occur at the same time.

In February, the effects of sea level rise on the Public Landing and measures to improve that infrastructure were studied by the Maine Coastal Program of the Department of Marine Resources. The report, Public Landing and Harbor Park, Vulnerability Assessment and Resilience Planning, was conducted by Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions of Portland, and is available on the town's website.

The study examines current flood risk due to sea level rise, tides, storm surge and wave affects as well as projected risk for short-term (2030), mid-term (2050) and long-term (2085) conditions.

Sea level is predicted to rise in Camden 1 foot by 2030, 2 feet by 2050 and 4 feet by 2085. These sea level increases are intermediate-level predictions generated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The lawns at the base of Harbor Park are eroding as the seawall is flooded during high tides, due to rains, storms and sea level rise. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding/Camden Properties LLC has Planning Board approval to demolish and rebuild the red shed at the head of Camden Harbor. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
A waterline at the base of the American Boathouse at the head of Camden Harbor shows how high the tide rose on Nov. 16. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
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Comments (1)
Posted by: Daniel Purdy | Nov 17, 2020 13:09

It also is the semiannual time for King Tides. The highest and lowest tides of the year.

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