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Park Crews Respond to King Tide Impacts

January 3, 2013

Our friends from the Points Northeast Historical Society captured some dramatic images of Puget Sound sweeping far beyond the normal shoreline at Browns Point Lighthouse Park on December 17. Extreme high tides (13.3) and high winds (50 mph) converged to create what the Department of Ecology referred to as a King Tide that day.

“Tides can be really powerful, especially when there are strong winds” Parks Superintendent Marina Becker said.

Waters partially surrounded the boat house at Browns Point Lighthouse Park before cresting at the flag pole in front of the Keeper’s Cottage. While none of the buildings in our waterfront parks sustained major damage from the flooding, other infrastructure including Dash Point Park’s fountain and pier lighting were severely impacted. The riprap which helps to protect the shoreline was affected in several waterfront parks, and some stairs that provide access to the beach were also impacted. The tide also washed logs, beach gravel and other debris ashore generating additional clean up.

This is good reminder to check the tide tables before venturing out to explore the shore to plan ahead before beachcombing. For example, low-tides provide a temporary expansion of the shoreline along far stretches of Point Defiance Park. When you venture out beyond Owen Beach you can actually get stranded as the tide rolls in, so be sure to allow plenty of time to make the return trip before the water starts coming back in.

Visit  to find handy links to local tide and weather charts

High Tide Browns Pt