High waves pound Pacifica

February 24, 2008 11:46:05 PM PST
A High surf advisory is in effect until midnight on Sunday along the San Mateo County coast, winds have been gusting to 25 miles an hour.

Strong gusts of wind knocked the shape out of the waves in Pacifica this on Sunday morning -- turning huge swells into chaotic sprays of water.

The few people who stepped outside to see what was going on agreed it was best to watch from a distance, if you could stay on your feet.

"We came around the corner here and it almost knocked us over. It's incredible keep standing here and knocking me off balance it's pretty impressive," said Oliver Spees from San Jose.

Even the surfers decided to stay away from this choppy mess. The beach was empty - which is exactly what the National Weather Service recommends during a high surf advisory.

"We're from Canada. Actually we were hoping to catch some surf it's a little sloppy though so but it's pretty impressive I like it's nice," said surfer Bryan Teremy.

But the amazing show of force comes with a price for some of the residents of Pacifica.

"We've lost over 20 feet along the whole cliff in the last nine days it's a little frustrating because we've got geologists saying this isn't an urgent matter," said Pacifica resident Randy Nelson.

But it's starting to feel urgent to Randy Nelson and his fellow residents at 330 Esplanade Avenue. Their apartment building sits on top of a cliff that seems to be disappearing.

Nelson says he hasn't seen the ocean take such big bites of it in the eight years he's lived here. And a storm like this one certainly doesn't help.

"We pretty much have a threshold we know when we need to go and besides that we just accept it," said Nelson.

They just hope they can put off the inevitable erosion of their perch for a few more years, so they can catch a few more sunsets and spectacular storms.