Waves washing over parts of shilshole, high tides seeping over Harbor Island, The Duwamish River overflowing into South Park and Georgetown neighborhoods - these events are extremely rare today but a new study by Seattle Public Utilities predicts they will become common in a few decades and maybe even daily in three or four.
Seattle City Councilmembers and department heads announced their projections for rising sea levels at a news conference Monday morning with a king tide on Puget Sound as their backdrop.
A king tide last month produced the highest tide ever recorded in Seattle and city leaders say rising sea levels will escalate the frequency of such events. They unveiled a map showing areas they consider at risk and announced that from now on, every project, every long term decision on infrastructure, will involve a study of rising sea levels.
Councilmember Jean Godden said they don't want to Seattle to become the new Atlantis.
While there is little risk of that, there are several existing city properties that could be swamped by future high tides.