Tsunami may have hit East Coast earlier in June - WFLA News Channel 8

Tsunami may have hit East Coast earlier in June

Posted: Updated:
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -

A storm that blew through earlier this month might have spurred a rare phenomenon for the East Coast: a tsunami.
    
Tsunami-like conditions were observed June 13 at more than 30 tide gages along the East Coast, Bermuda and Puerto Rico, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. The highest peak amplitude was recorded in Newport, R.I, where it reached just under a foot above sea level. Gages in Kiptopeke, Va., and Atlantic City, N.J., recorded similar peaks, according to NOAA.
    
"From North Carolina up through Massachusetts, we can find that signal, even though it's very small, which tells us there was something going on," Mike Angove, head of NOAA's tsunami program, said Tuesday. "We're trying to piece this back together."
    
A strong storm moved through the region and offshore that day, and scientists were trying to determine if it played a role.
    
Angove stopped short of saying it was a tsunami, but acknowledged it had specific characteristics of one.
    
Brian Coen was spearfishing at Barnegat Inlet in Ocean County, N.J., around 3:30 p.m. on June 13, when he saw a strong outrush of water as the tide went out, according to a description provided by NOAA. He said it carried divers over submerged rocks that serve as a breakwater. The rocks, normally three to four feet deep, eventually were exposed, he said.
    
Then, according to NOAA, Coen saw an approximately 6-foot wave come in. It carried the divers back over the breakwater and also swept three people off rocks that are usually five to six feet above sea level. Two of them needed medical attention.
    
Chuck Ebersole, steward at Wickford Yacht Club in North Kingstown, R.I., said he saw a strong current of about 7 knots, or 8 miles per hour, going out through a channel into Narragansett Bay. Normally, he said, the current is 1 to 2 miles per hour. The current was so strong that one large boat pulled its cleat out of the dock, he said.
    
After a while, the current reversed at the same speed, he said. A nearby gage recorded that the sea level changed by 1.3 feet.
    
Angove said it is a specific feature of tsunamis for water to be drawn out to sea and then rapidly rush back in, and the water speeds Ebersole reported in Rhode Island indicated something other than a storm surge.
    
He said researchers are looking for a cause. One possibility is a rare meteotsunami (pronounced MEE'-tee-oh tsoo-NAHM'-ee), which is a tsunami caused by weather. Or it could have been caused by a landslide off the continental shelf, which is less rare but still uncommon, he said.
    
Angove hopes to send a boat with sonar out to the shelf to look for a landslide and help determine what happened.
    
"If we can't do that, it's going to be tough to put this egg back together," he said.
    
At the yacht club, there was only minor damage to the dock and two boats, Ebersole said.
    
"For a little while there, I thought it might have been some runoff from the storms we had that week, but it was too much water for that," he said. "It was very exciting at the time."

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Woman impales herself on cemetery fence; says she was running from attacker

    Woman impales herself on cemetery fence; says she was running from attacker

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 2:53 PM EDT2014-07-23 18:53:18 GMT
    A woman claims she was running from an attacker and tried to jump a five foot fence when she became impaled. Firefighters had to use power saws and a grinding saw to cut her free, all while she was conscious. After 30 minutes she was transported to an area hospital for surgery to remove the spike sticking out of her thigh. It happened at Vine Cemetery in Hazleton. She said the nearest gate was locked. Witnesses backed...
    A woman claims she was running from an attacker and tried to jump a five foot fence when she became impaled. Firefighters had to use power saws and a grinding saw to cut her free, all while she was conscious. After 30 minutes she was transported to an area hospital for surgery to remove the spike sticking out of her thigh. It happened at Vine Cemetery in Hazleton. She said the nearest gate was locked. Witnesses backed...
  • 2 charged with first-degree murder in beating death of UNC professor, cancer researcher

    2 charged with first-degree murder in beating death of UNC professor, cancer researcher

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:00:14 GMT
    A UNC research professor was robbed and beaten to death Wednesday afternoon on University Drive in Chapel Hill, police said.
    A UNC research professor was robbed and beaten to death Wednesday afternoon on University Drive in Chapel Hill, police said.
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.