High surf generated by Hurricane Marie will batter California’s coast starting today, raising fears of some flooding and powerful rip currents through Friday and creating “extremely dangerous” conditions for swimmers and surfers, forecasters said.
The surf will begin rapidly developing along south-facing beaches late this morning and increase this afternoon, according to a National Weather Service advisory. It will peak this afternoon through Wednesday, then slowly diminish but remain strong enough to meet high surf advisory criteria through Friday, it said.
“There is the potential for damaging and life-threatening surf across south- and southeast-facing shores of Los Angeles and Ventura counties,” warned the advisory. “These areas will potentially see the largest surf seen in recent years, with breakers of 10 to 15 feet possible.
“Surf this large will have the potential to cause structure damage and significant beach erosion,” and low-lying areas “may experience some minor coastal flooding near times of high tide,” the NWS said.
Tables indicate tides will peak at 6.7 feet at 2:17 p.m. today and 6.6 feet at 2:12 a.m. and 2:44 p.m. Wednesday.
“In addition, very strong rip currents and longshore currents will likely create extremely dangerous and life-threatening conditions for anyone,” the NWS warned.
The high surf advisory will be in force in several counties north and south of Los Angeles, including Orange County. But Los Angeles and Ventura counties “will likely see the largest impacts of this powerful surf event,” according to the NWS advisory.
An NWS high surf advisory will be in effect from 10 a.m. today to 6 p.m. Friday in L.A. County.
“The Palos Verdes Peninsula — including Long Beach, Cabrillo Beach and Point Fermin — will be especially vulnerable to the initial surge of large southeast surf today into Wednesday,” warned the advisory, adding that Malibu and Zuma beaches in L.A. County also risk being hard-hit.
The NWS warned that the surf event starting today “will create extremely dangerous swimming and surfing conditions.”
Additionally, it “has the potential to produce structural damage to piers and beachside property as well as significant beach erosion,” according to the advisory. “Sneaker waves can bring unexpectedly large waves across rocks and jetties near the water’s edge and suddenly inundate beaches.”
In preparation for the high surf, Long Beach firefighters and volunteers have handed out fliers to residents of the Peninsula area, warning of possible flooding today and Wednesday.
The surge is expected to affect the Peninsula area at around 10 a.m. today and about 6 p.m. Wednesday, said Long Beach Disaster Management chief David Ashman.
“City crews are preparing for the storm surge with a coordinated, multi-department response by fortifying sand berms, deploying additional staff and equipment to the area around the clock and closely monitoring the situation,” Ashman said.
He urged residents to take appropriate steps by “securing personal property and vehicles in areas that are prone to flooding along the Peninsula.” The city is making up to 10 sand bags available to residents, Ashman said.