Several seawall stretches, beaches, and parks around Metro Vancouver were flooded Friday morning as a king tide brought the ocean higher than usual, and strong winds whipped up huge waves.
One of the first areas to flood was the West Vancouver seawall. A water fountain normally used by pedestrians was halfway submerged in the surf, and Ambleside Park was completely flooded with water was as high as the tires of some parked cars.
The flooding prompted the District of West Vancouver to close the seawall between John Lawson Park and Dundarave.
#WestVan Seawalk CLOSED between John Lawson Park (18th Street) and Dundarave (25th Street) due to flooding caused by strong winds and high tide. Please obey closure signage. Staff are monitoring the situation and will re-open the Seawalk as soon as it is safe. pic.twitter.com/rDDftwEXxU
— District of West Vancouver (@WestVanDistrict) January 7, 2022
Beachfront restaurant The Boat Shed Ambleside was also forced to close because because of the flooding surrounding the restaurant.
View this post on Instagram
The water became so choppy that an otter was spotted fleeing for land.
The water also rose so high at Kitsilano Beach Park that much of the paved area was consumed by the waves.
— S A Smith (@Smith442Smith) January 7, 2022
The City Vancouver also closed sections of its seawall near Sunset Beach because of flooding.
“The rain has stopped, but high tides and strong winds can cause dangerous conditions near the water. Stay safe out there,” the Vancouver Park Board said in a tweet.
UPDATE: Sections of the #Seawall are closed. The rain has stopped, but high tides and strong winds can cause dangerous conditions near the water. Stay safe out there! @CityofVancouver pic.twitter.com/HaSWTOtKzn
— Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation (@ParkBoard) January 7, 2022
Daily Hive also saw parks staff at English Bay appearing to tell members of the public to stay off the beach as huge waves crashed on the shoreline.
Big winds and big waves at English Bay today pic.twitter.com/ufR9oIB7Uz
— Megan Devlin (@MegDevlinn) January 7, 2022
A king tide happens when the earth and moon’s gravitational forces build on each other to bring the ocean higher than it would typically go. Friday’s king tide peaked just before 10 am, according to the City of Vancouver’s timetable, and another is expected Saturday just after 10 am.
On top of a larger-than-usual tide, the city is under a wind warning from Environment Canada with gusts of up to 90 kilometres an hour expected.
King tides typically flood low-lying areas of the seawall in False Creek and the Jericho Pier, both of which were submerged during recent sets of king tides in 2021.