California battered with huge waves up and down the coast

California battered with huge waves up and down the coast

California battered with huge waves up and down the coast

People walk along Cliff Drive to view the Capitola Wharf damaged by heavy storm waves in Capitola, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (Nic Coury / Associated Press)

As the atmospheric river continues to batter California, coastal areas up and down the state are seeing massive waves that are making beaches dangerous.

No one except the most experienced and expert swimmers should enter the water Thursday as waves of up to 30 feet will be hitting the shores in certain parts of the state.

“It’s definitely a very dangerous time to be in the water,” said Eric Boldt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Boldt described rip currents and coastal flooding by Zuma Beach in Malibu, where waves are crashing at up to 10 feet. At Hermosa Beach, waves were coming in at nine feet.

The waves had still not hit the possible peaks of the warnings issued by the NWS, which said that waves up to 22 feet might be seen in Ventura County. The Ventura Pier was closed as of Thursday morning because of the high surf.

Farther north, waves continue to grow, with Laurel Bay in San Luis Obispo seeing waves up to 12 feet, according to Doldt.

In the Bay Area, the NWS issued a high surf warning for 7 am Thursday to 3 am Friday. The area could be hit by waves of up to 30 feet.

The city of Santa Cruz evacuated and closed its wharf due to strong waves crashing along the shoreline.

“Please go inside. It is dangerous to be outside near the water watching the storm and waves at this time,” the city said in a warning.

A massive wave crashed over the barrier in Pacifica, just south of San Francisco, sending terrified pedestrians scrambling from the swell of water, a live stream of the beach showed.

In Capitola, in Santa Cruz County, the city’s pier was split in two, with a section of the wharf collapsing in Monterey Bay, blocking access to businesses at the end of the pier. A photo published by Santa Cruz County showed the pier impassable.

The Capitola pier is a popular spot with tourists. Visitors often take photos of it alongside the colorful pastel houses next to Capitola State Beach.

Meteorologists reminded California residents to remain vigilant on the beaches.

In the Bay Area, the NWS warned beachgoers to stay off jetties or coastal rocks, and to stay out of the surf zone.

“Never turn your back to the ocean!” the NWS said.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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