PHOTOS: A king tide tangled with a rainstorm to make dramatically high water levels

This ramp is where the old whaling station in Coal Harbour used to drag whales to be processed. On Tuesday they could have swam themselves up. (Zoe Ducklow photo)This ramp is where the old whaling station in Coal Harbour used to drag whales to be processed. On Tuesday they could have swam themselves up. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
A Coal Harbour house is built on pilings to withstand the king tide and rain storm, but the water levels are like none people here have seen before. (Zoe Ducklow photo)A Coal Harbour house is built on pilings to withstand the king tide and rain storm, but the water levels are like none people here have seen before. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
The Quatsino Marina was just barely able to hold back the Nov. 17 king tide, paired with a rainstorm and easterly winds that held water in the sound. Locals say there’s normally five feet of water under the dock on a high tide. Not this day. (Zoe Ducklow photo)The Quatsino Marina was just barely able to hold back the Nov. 17 king tide, paired with a rainstorm and easterly winds that held water in the sound. Locals say there’s normally five feet of water under the dock on a high tide. Not this day. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
This fence wasn’t built for water, but try telling that to a king tide that tangled with a rainstorm on Nov. 17. (Zoe Ducklow photo)This fence wasn’t built for water, but try telling that to a king tide that tangled with a rainstorm on Nov. 17. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
By-standers worried these dock fingers might be lost in the storm. (Zoe Ducklow photo)By-standers worried these dock fingers might be lost in the storm. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
By-standers worried these dock fingers might be lost in the storm. (Zoe Ducklow photo)By-standers worried these dock fingers might be lost in the storm. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Vehicles in this long-term parking lot were in peril of having their seaworthiness tested as the tide rose far past the embankment. (Zoe Ducklow photo)Vehicles in this long-term parking lot were in peril of having their seaworthiness tested as the tide rose far past the embankment. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Vehicles in this long-term parking lot were in peril of having their seaworthiness tested as the tide rose far past the embankment. (Zoe Ducklow photo)Vehicles in this long-term parking lot were in peril of having their seaworthiness tested as the tide rose far past the embankment. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Vehicles in this long-term parking lot almost joined boats moored at the dock as the king tide rose far past the embankment Nov. 17. (Zoe Ducklow photo)Vehicles in this long-term parking lot almost joined boats moored at the dock as the king tide rose far past the embankment Nov. 17. (Zoe Ducklow photo)

On top of a wind storm that left thousands without power on the North Island Tuesday Nov. 17, a king tide pushed the limits of retaining walls, embankments and previously known high-tide levels.

In Coal Harbour the effects were especially noticeable. Lawns were submerged, the marina might as well have been a floating dock and the long-term parking lot almost turned into a marina itself.

King tides occur two to three times a year when the sun, moon and earth are aligned such that gravity has greater force on the water. One resident likened it to the 1964 tsunami that rolled down to Vancouver Island from Alaska. The water levels then, which came up Quatsino Sound on a low tide, were comparable to how high things got on Tuesday, one local said.

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca


B.C. windstorm