The streets of South Beach remained dry after newly-installed pumps kept millions of gallons of water from rising onto the roads as it has in years past.
As the highest of high tides started to roll through Monday, all eyes were on Miami Beach’s $15 million investment in the pumps. Monday’s rainfall combined with the “king tide” to create some brief road flooding that was drained out into the Biscayne Bay, but the rest of the week saw high tides cause little more than some puddles around drains — a far cry from the flooding scenes from years past with people wading across the street and cars undercarriages getting soaked in saltwater.
As permanent and temporary pumps worked in the flood-prone swath of South Beach stretching from Sunset Harbor down to the MacArthur Causeway, politicians and environmentalists gathered Thursday morning at Maurice Gibb Park to talk climate change and see the pumps at work.
Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine told the crowd of reporters and students that with the sea level projected to continue rising and several dozen more pumps left to be installed during the next five years, which will cost about $500 million more, this year's king tide is just a start.
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“There’s no one up here in our city who’s going to declare victory,” he said. "We are encouraged by the results that we experienced this week," he said.
Thursday morning's high tide was projected to be the highest of the annual king tides, which in the past has caused major flooding in the Beach.
A small amount of water could be seen going over the sea wall Thursday morning at Indian Creek and 28th Street, but only a few puddles near drains could be seen in Sunset Harbor and along Alton Road and West Avenue — a big difference from years past, where people would have to wade through floodwaters even on a sunny day.
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