He knew the tide was high when it swamped neighborhoods and businesses around Puget Sound Monday, but one coastal engineer had no idea he was witnessing history.
Engineer David Michalson of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decided to check out the statistics on the high tide that was whipped up by wind and other conditions until it topped bulkheads around the area and almost topped the Ballard Locks.
When he saw the tide hit a level of 14.5 feet, he decided to compare to the historical data. What he found was a new record.
We double checked the numbers by contacting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) officials tide center. They confirmed it. Michalson was right - Monday’s tide broke the 1983 record by .2 feet and is the highest since they started keeping records 113 years ago.
Scientists with both NOAA and The Corps say with ocean levels in Seattle going up by about eight inches every 100 years, we can expect more records and more severe storms more often.