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."

  • U.S.More>>

  • CoverGirl's NFL sponsorship ad used as anti-domestic violence message

    CoverGirl's NFL sponsorship ad used as anti-domestic violence message

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 1:29 AM EDT2014-09-16 05:29:37 GMT
    (RNN) – A sponsorship between cosmetic giant CoverGirl and the NFL is being tested during the league's nightmarish week of bad publicity in the wake of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident.CoverGirl, whose sponsorship tagline is the “official beauty sponsor of the NFL,” launched a campaign that targets beauty looks for all 32 NFL franchises. The campaign has been promoted with the tagline “get your #game face on.”On Sept. 11, Adele Stan, senior digital editor for The American Prospect, mad...
    (RNN) – A sponsorship between cosmetic giant CoverGirl and the NFL is being tested during the league's nightmarish week of bad publicity in the wake of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident.CoverGirl, whose sponsorship tagline is the “official beauty sponsor of the NFL,” launched a campaign that targets beauty looks for all 32 NFL franchises. The campaign has been promoted with the tagline “get your #game face on.”On Sept. 11, Adele Stan, senior digital editor for The American Prospect, mad...
  • Duke study: Water contamination tied to wells, not fracking

    Duke study: Water contamination tied to wells, not fracking

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:02 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:02:46 GMT
    A new study by scientist from multiple schools, including Duke University, says problems with the wells and not hydraulic fracturing itself, was the primary cause of drinking water contamination issues in parts of Pennsylvania and Texas.
    A new study by scientist from multiple schools, including Duke University, says problems with the wells and not hydraulic fracturing itself, was the primary cause of drinking water contamination issues in parts of Pennsylvania and Texas.
  • Gamers use police hoax to lash out at opponents

    Gamers use police hoax to lash out at opponents

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:42 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:42:14 GMT
    Authorities are increasingly concerned about a hoax in which video game players lash out at online opponents by making fake 911 calls that send SWAT teams to their homes.
    The calls to 911 raised an instant alarm: One caller said he shot his co-workers at a Colorado video game company and had hostages. Another in Florida said her father was drunk, wielding a machine gun and threatening their...
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.