Bill Nelson and Fellow Senators to Witness Fort Lauderdale Flooding Due to Climate Change
Florida is pretty much sinking into the ocean. This is no longer in question. The real question here is, What the hell is being done about it?
For now, the only answer politicians seem to have is to look at the ocean, which is exactly what Sen. Bill Nelson and a bunch of other senators are coming down to Fort Lauderdale to do.
Nelson says he's bringing his colleagues to Las Olas Boulevard to watch the tide come in, just as the so-called King Tide is rolling into South Florida.
The annual high tide, dubbed King Tide because it's friggin' huge, is set to start arriving Thursday and, according to Reuters, will be bringing an extra foot of water spilling onto the streets and over seawalls, and making things a nightmare for us humans.
Moreover, it's giving us a glimpse into what life will be like in the coming years, when Florida starts to go all Atlantis on us.
While the tide is a seasonal thing, caused by the alignment of the sun, Earth, and moon, scientists say climate change is going to make the tide and the ensuing floods much bigger and worse in the coming years.
For the time being, construction crews across South Florida are expected to put up barriers and take precautions to try to quell Mother Nature's angry sea. Back in November 2012, we saw exactly what a no-win scenario all that preparation can be when the Florida Department of Transportation declared an emergency on Fort Lauderdale's A1A.
Chunks of the street collapsed and washed into the ocean as seawater came in with a vengeance. Concrete barriers were put in place, but a high tide rolled in and caused more problems along NW 16th Court and A1A. Streets had to be closed off and commuters rerouted.
In May, National Climate Assessment findings were released by the White House showing that South Florida is "exceptionally vulnerable to sea level rise" due to climate change.
On Thursday, Nelson is bringing along other senators to watch the streets flood on Las Olas, specifically.
Nelson's hope is that seeing the flooding in person will spur the Senate to get serious about pushing stiffer climate-change legislation. Particularly so they can go back to Washington and tell certain climate-denying senators that the flooding is real and that it's going to get worse without dramatic changes.
"I'm bringing these senators here so that can see and then testify back to our colleagues who are deniers of what's happening," Nelson said at a luncheon with the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, per the Miami Herald.
Among the senators in the gawker of rising tides will be Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, who is also a member of the Senate's Committee on Environment and Public Works.
Meanwhile, Miami Beach will be experimenting with pumping stations to combat the King Tide. The pumps, which were funded by a federal grant, will be installed near Alton Road, a busy intersection in Miami Beach.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.