SAN FRANCISCO
12/13/2012 02:54 pm ET

California King Tides Slam Coastline, Cause Flooding (VIDEO)

Alamy

We survived 12/12/12. But we might not be out of the woods just yet.

For the next few days, our coastline will be home to California king tides, a celestial phenomenon that causes the highest tides of the year. Surges are expected to reach nine feet in some areas.

"We use the term king tides to refer to tides that are above average--the highest winter tides," said Hilary Papendick, of the California Coastal Commission in a video by thankyouocean.org. "King tides occur when the sun and moon are in alignment. "

Indeed, the gravitational pull of the sun and moon (the cause of tides) is strongest over the next few days. And, according to Papendick, the predicted El Nino winter will make this year's tidal event a doozy.

Case in point: according to CBS, the connector ramp from Highway 101 to Highway 1 in Marin was closed on Thursday morning due to flooding--not from rain, but from the rising tide.

According to the Bay Area News Group, especially high tides are expected in Redwood City and Corte Madera

California researchers, however, have found a silver lining.

A group of state agencies and nonprofits have launched the California King Tides Initiative: a database created by public-submitted photos that can give researchers an idea of how sea level rises will impact the coastline.

"The California King Tide Initiative is one of many throughout the world," said Papendick. "It uses the power of the public and people throughout the entire state to go out and take photos of their area and curate a database of photos, hopefully throughout every single California community and coastline area."

Check out thankyouocean.org's video on the California King Tide Initiative below, and visit the initiative website to submit your own photos:

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