Powerful Pacific wave brings threat of more dangerous surf to California


VENTURA, Calif. (AP) — Bulldozers created huge piles of sand Friday to protect beach homes in one of California's coastal cities. Hit hard by extraordinary waves this week Generated by powerful waves generated by Pacific storms.

Dozens of people watched the construction of emergency barriers in the Pierpont area of ​​downtown Ventura, where a rogue wave on Thursday hit spectators and vehicles as it overtook the beach and swept through neighborhoods.

"We've had water in the street once before, but never like this," said Caris Cutivan, a 9-year-old resident of the scenic shoreline town about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles.

"What it's taught me is that I want to be on the beach, not on the beach," Cutivan said.

Eight people were taken to hospitals to be treated for injuries following the Pierpont incident, according to Ventura County officials, who closed beaches, piers and harbors until December 31.

Similar waves reached beaches elsewhere on the California coast on Thursday, flooding parking lots, roads and prompting warnings to evacuate low-lying areas.

There was less rough seas on Friday, but the National Weather Service warned that another round of extremely dangerous surf would return on Saturday.

The Los Angeles-area weather office wrote that the powerful cyclone was producing 12 to 17-foot (3.6 to 5 m) waves over North Pacific waters, producing "tremendous wave energy in coastal waters."

Waves crash against a sea wall next to homes along the California coast on Friday, Dec. 29, 2023, in Malibu Beach, California.  A large swell generated by the stormy Pacific Ocean caused powerful waves on the beaches of the West Coast and Hawaii.  towards coastlines, causing localized flooding.  (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Waves crash against a sea wall next to homes along the California coast on Friday, Dec. 29, 2023, in Malibu Beach, California. A large swell generated by the stormy Pacific Ocean caused powerful waves on the beaches of the West Coast and Hawaii. towards coastlines, causing localized flooding. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Large waves crash into Duncan Landing north of Carmarthen, CA, as a Pacific hurricane hits Northern California on Thursday, December 28, 2023.  (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat via AP)

Large waves crash into Duncan Landing north of Carmarthen, CA, as a Pacific hurricane hits Northern California on Thursday, December 28, 2023. (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat via AP)

At some points in California, waves were predicted to reach 25 feet (7.6 m). Astronomical high tides are raising the risk of significant coastal flooding, forecasters said.

"Overall, this is expected to be an extraordinary high-surf and coastal flooding event that has not occurred in many years," the weather service wrote. “Use caution and pay attention to instructions from local authorities and lifeguards. Never turn your back to the water as there is a possibility of damaging and life-threatening sneaker waves.

In Hawaii, which was also hit by major flooding this week, the weather service downgraded its high tide warning to an advisory on Friday. The weather service said large waves of 18 to 22 feet (5.5 to 6.7 m) and strong currents would make swimming dangerous at some north-facing beaches.

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AP reporter Jennifer Cinco Kelleher reported from Honolulu.



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