Last Thursday, the LAPD issued the following warning to “residents, visitors and business owners” in Venice and Playa del Rey: “The Los Angeles city coastline communities of Venice, Playa del Rey and Dockweiler Beach are currently experiencing a series of large swells, which have produced large surf, ranging from 10-15 feet, with larger sets. These large swells are expected to continue through the end of 2005. “It is anticipated that the biggest surf will occur between December 27-31, during high tide, between the hours of 6 and 10 a.m. Although our entire coastline is at risk, the area of Pacific Avenue to the East, Westminster Avenue to the North, and the Marina del Rey Main Channel to the South are most susceptible to moderate to severe flooding. This could result in the need for residents and businesses in this area to evacuate voluntarily. “Pacific Area is currently reviewing our evacuation and traffic plan, which will be implemented should substantial flooding occur. Additionally, the American Red Cross is working on shelter should the need arise and sandbags are available at no cost at your local Fire Station. While I do not want to cause panic, I do want to remind everyone to remain alert should flooding occur and evacuation become necessary. For further information, contact the Watch Commander, Pacific Community Police Station, at (310) 482-6334. The bulletin was signed by William J. Bratton, Chief of Police, and William P. Hayes, Captain, Acting Commanding Officer, Pacific Area. At presstime, the National Weather Service in Los Angeles had issued a high surf advisory for Southern California that will remain in effect until Thursday afternoon, December 29. Waves between eight and 12 feet are expected on west-facing beaches, with surf heights increasing tonight and Thursday morning Caused by a large West-Northwest swell, the surf could possibly build up to 15 feet at times. Though the big waves are then expected to diminish for a day or two, after New Year’s Day the National Weather Service expects the surf to rebuild, as a series of storms that is moving across the Pacific will create large swells, which will move towards the Southern California coast. Southern California has recently been experiencing exceptionally high surf. Over the past week, this high surf has resulted in the closing of several piers in Southern California, including Venice pier, and has led to injuries and even death for intrepid surfers taking advantage of the unusually large waves. Many people have been going down to the shore to watch the waves and document this unique event. High tide, at six feet on Wednesday, will steadily rise over the next few days, reaching seven feet by Saturday.The heavy surf, combined with high astronomical tides, is expected to cause some beach erosion and minor coastal flooding. Dangerous rip currents are also anticipated. In its advisory, the National Weather Service warns people to be careful around the waves, and to never turn their backs to the ocean when near the shoreline.
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