Surge levels are now > 3 ft for at least five locations between Delaware and Chesapeake Bay. The total water level, or storm tide (surge + tide) should continue to rise in most locations as high tide approaches most coastal areas around 1:00AM Eastern Time Saturday. High tide will occur a little later on bays and inlets.
Low tides should be observed around daybreak Saturday, with high tides occurring again around 1:30PM Eastern Time at the coast.
Storm surge observations as of 1000 PM Eastern Time on Fri Oct 2. These data are provided by NOAA Tides and Currents.
A 3-ft storm surge has a greater impact than one might expect because of the following:
1. The tidal range across much of this region is 4-5 feet between low tide and high tide. Adding 3 ft to the high tide level will cause coastal inundation in many low-lying areas.
2. Elevated coastal water levels slow the drainage of heavy rainfall, because most drainage systems are gravity fed. A prolonged storm surge can cause fresh water flooding from 1-2 inches of rain, when typically that much rain runs off quickly.
3. The prolonged nature of this wind/ surge event means storm surge will be added to at least eight high tide cyclones. Such persistent conditions will likely cause much more coastal erosion than usually experienced from a 3-4 ft surge.