Big waves and high tides create dangerous conditions on the beaches of SoCal and cause flooding
Beachgoers are urged to use caution in Southern California this weekend with high tides, rip currents and high waves expected to hammer beaches through to Saturday.
Dangerous conditions are expected to persist through Saturday night in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties, including Catalina Island, according to a National Weather Service hazard statement.
Dangerous reverse currents will lead to an increased risk of drowning in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and large waves will break about 3 to 6 feet, with some sets reaching 7 feet, forecasters said.
The heaviest swells are expected on south-facing beaches like Malibu, and minor flooding is possible during high tides, particularly in the evening.
âThere is an increased risk of drowning in the ocean,â the weather service said. âReturn currents can pull swimmers and surfers out to sea. Waves can wash people off beaches and rocks and capsize small boats near shore. “
In Ventura and LA counties, high tides of up to 6.7 feet are expected at 8:30 p.m. Friday and 9:15 p.m. Saturday, while a high tide of 4.5 feet is forecast for 10 a.m. Saturday morning, according to NWS.
In Orange County, the risk of reverse currents was high and high tides were expected to reach 6.6 feet until Saturday evening. Waves should be around 4-6 feet with some waves reaching 7 feet.
Surfers and swimmers are urged to stay out of the water in unsafe conditions and to stay near a busy lifeguard tower if they venture there. LA County lifeguards reported 106 water rescues for Thursday alone.
“Rock jetties can be fatal in such conditions, stay out of the rocks,” the weather service said.
Experts also expect high tides to bring water to areas it usually does not reach and affect beach erosion.
On Friday afternoon, waves washed away a long stretch of Westward Beach Road near Point Dume in Malibu. Pieces of the street could be seen cracking and sliding into the sea.
As a result, the area was closed and MPs were on patrol to keep people out of harm’s way. Public Works crews were working to dump rocks along the beach to fortify the embankment for the reconstruction of the causeway.
It’s a “perfect storm” made up of high tides and a strong southerly swell so strong it’s capable of blowing up chunks of the road, said Chris Frost, chairman of the Malibu Public Safety Commission .
Frost believed other chunks of Westward Beach Road would fall into the ocean on Friday night, possibly knocking down a streetlight or two. Public works officials hope to have the stretch of road repaired in two weeks, before Labor Day weekend, which typically draws tourists to the area.
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