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Senate climate change delegation headed to Las Olas


A group of U.S. Senators is planning a trip to Fort Lauderdale next week to watch the tide come in -- on Las Olas Boulevard.

On Oct. 9, the start of South Florida's seasonal high tide, Sen. Bill Nelson is bringing colleagues to South Florida to see for themselves how the streets flood when seas swell. Nelson, who spoke Wednesday to trustees of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce during a luncheon at Jungle Island, said he hopes having eye witnesses in the senate will help push stronger climate change legislation.

"I'm bringing these senators here to see so that can see and then testify back to our colleagues who are deniers of what's happening," Nelson said.

Nelson said the group will include Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, a member of the Senate's Committee on Environment and Public Works. He said he's been assured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminsitration that Las Olas will be flooded Thursday due to the incoming "king tide."

Nelson's announcement came as a climate change summit began Wednesday on Miami Beach, which has been installing pumping stations in South Beach as part of a $300 million sea-rise plan. Nelson predicted those pumps, funded by a federal grant, will keep Alton Road from flooding.