Big waves slam Southern California coastline, flood homes

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014
A bicyclist rides his bike on a flooded street after big waves slammed Seal Beach on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014.
A bicyclist rides his bike on a flooded street after big waves slammed Seal Beach on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014.

SEAL BEACH, Calif. -- Some residents living along Southern California beaches woke up to a big mess Wednesday morning. Massive waves from Hurricane Marie, which is passing hundreds of miles offshore, slammed into neighborhoods, flooding homes and eroding beaches.

Many cities have crews working around the clock, building up berms, hoping to keep the damage as minimal as possible. A big surge hit Seal Beach around 11 p.m. Tuesday.

"When our firefighters arrived on scene, they immediately asked for two dozers. There were about 50 firefighters here right now and 1,000 sandbags," said Capt. Steve Concialdi with the Orange County Fire Authority. "They have been working to build these 6-foot berms all the way from the pier to 14th Street. There are a number of residents who have suffered flooding."

Hurricane Marie was weakening off of Mexico's Pacific coast, but it's generating large, dangerous swells. The waves are expected to get as big as 10 to 15 feet by the end of the week.

Extra lifeguards were expected to be brought in to deal with the peak of the swell on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, a surfer in his 50s died after lifeguards pulled him out of the water in Malibu. It is unknown if the death was connected to the high surf, but lifeguards warned inexperienced swimmers to stay away from the beaches this week.

The Malibu Pier was closed to the public due to the high surf. Some pylons supporting the pier were damaged by incoming waves.

High surf conditions have prompted the closure of beaches in the city of Rancho Palos Verdes to the public from Tuesday through Friday.

Portuguese Point, Sacred Cove and Inspiration Point will be closed through the week, according to the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

Abalone Cove Beach will remain open and L.A. County lifeguards will be on duty there, though the beach remains subject to closure if surf conditions worsen.

Beachgoers are advised to be extra cautious at south-facing beaches in L.A., including Rancho Palos Verdes Beach, Portuguese Bend Beach Club, the Terranea Resort and Pelican Cove.