Crowds gather to see the king

Lea Hunter and Lizette Morrison check out the king tide at Coolum Beach. Photo: Mike Garry/scw1273a
Lea Hunter and Lizette Morrison check out the king tide at Coolum Beach. Photo: Mike Garry/scw1273a

This week’s king tides attracted hundreds of sightseers, surfers and swimmers to local beaches.

Many beaches were closed, sand was swept away from Noosa to Caloundra, and home owners looked on at canal waters lapping their gardens on Monday as the Coast received a possible taste of the future.

With climate change experts predicting that tides in the range of the 2.16-metre high experienced this week would become more frequent, authorities and property owners took a keen interest in just where water levels reached.

But for most holiday makers the event was one of curiosity, that flushed clean, clear ocean water into the river system, making for ideal swimming conditions.

Families headed to Stumers Creek, which on Monday looked more like a river as it widened, deepened and once more linked up with the ocean.

Waves smashed the rock wall at Coolum Beach which was closed until mid-morning on Monday, as were Yaroomba and the Boardwalk beaches.

At Twin Waters, the tide peaked in the canals about two hours after the high tide on the beaches, topping revetment walls and inundating the edge of waterfront properties.

Environmental scientist Jane Beck, who has campaigned about the potential impact of floodplain development on river heights, expressed concern at an application from Stocklands to develop Twin Waters west.

The land between the motorway and Twin Waters has been redesignated rural, flood prone but Stocklands’ proposal, submitted just before Christmas, seeks to fill to a level of 3.5 metres and construct a bund noise wall a further three metres high.

Ms Beck said the displaced water from such a development would need to go somewhere, probably increasing flooding on the southern bank of the Maroochy.

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