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Sidney, Saanich Peninsula brace for king tides of 11 feet through Friday

High tides coincide with strong winds and warnings about rivers possibly breaking their banks

Environment Canada is predicting high tides of 11 feet or more for Sidney through Friday as residents across the Saanich Peninsula are keeping an eye on local shorelines.

According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, high tide for Wednesday, Dec. 28 will reach 11.5 feet at 9:56 a.m. On Tuesday, high tide recorded at 9:21 a.m. also reached 11.5 feet. For Thursday and Friday, Fisheries and Oceans predicts high tides of 11.2 feet at 10:27 a.m. and 11 feet at 10:55 a.m. respectively.

These high tides — which people often describe as king tides — typically occur during a new or full moon. The moon is currently waxing — that is growing — and expected to be full on Jan. 6. These king tides are happening as Vancouver Island, along with the rest of British Columbia, has been experiencing a series of winter storms that have blasted Greater Victoria with snow and chilly temperatures last week and heavy rains and winds over the Christmas holiday weekend into this week with Greater Victoria subject of a wind advisory issued Tuesday.

This combination of wind, rain and snow has not only played havoc with seasonal travel, be it by road, plane or ferry, but also prompted a cascade of warning from authorities.

RELATED: Rain, run-off from recent snow, surging tides raise flood concerns in parts of B.C.

Greater Victoria, along with two-thirds of Vancouver Island, remains on a flood watch, meaning that water levels are rising and will approach or may exceed bankfull and that flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers may occur. The Capital Regional District Tuesday announced the closure of the Sooke Potholes for safety reasons. Concerns about flooding — which has already caused authorities to issue evacuation alerts in the Cowichan Valley north of Greater Victoria — co-exist with worries about the effects of storm surges along the shorelines of the Saanich Peninsula.

Social media footage shows logs bobbing in waves crashing against the western shorelines of the Saanich Peninsula in North Saanich. On the eastern shore of the Saanich Peninsula, a visual survey conducted Monday and Tuesday afternoon showed water covering large parts of the foreshore along Lochside Drive as well as Glass Beach in downtown Sidney. Locals and visitors strolling through Sidney Monday and Tuesday afternoon could also see the iconic Satellite Fish Market at the end of Beacon Avenue and Sidney Pier lying low, so to speak, in the water.

Local authorities have not issued the type of warnings issued on the mainland side of the Salish Sea, where municipalities have already been dealing with flooding in low-lying residential and public areas.

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