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Big waves, extreme high tides could cause flooding, dangerous surf this week

Beach hazards will be looming this week as summer officially gets underway, with a south swell bringing beefy waves and an extreme evening high tide that could cause flooding.

The National Weather Service issued a Beach Hazard Statement starting Tuesday, June 22, that remains in effect through Thursday evening.

Combined with waves in the 4- foot to 6-foot range, it could spell trouble for areas prone to flooding such as low-laying harbors and coastal areas, including the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, which suffered major flooding last Fourth of July weekend.

Flooding on July 3, 2020 washed sea water into parking lots, streets and homes on Balboa Peninsula. Newport Beach officials say their beaches need help from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to keep ocean water from causing destruction. (Photo courtesy of @surflick/ Brandon Yamawaki)

Workers in Newport Beach are using heavy equipment this week to build up a berm in the area to hopefully stop ocean water from again flooding the parking lots, streets and homes as it did last year.

The extreme high tide is expected to reach 7 feet at about 8:40 p.m. on Wednesday and around 9:20 p.m. on Thursday, before slowly dropping toward the weekend.

“Higher than normal tides will create the potential for minor tidal overflow and beach erosion,” the NWS warned. “Pooling of sea water is possible around high tide at beach and harbor areas that is uncommon with normal tidal ranges. Enhanced beach erosion is also expected.”

Other vulnerable areas include Capistrano Beach in Dana Point, which is getting slammed this week, adding to the problems seen at already battered beach that has suffered from its sand getting sucked out to sea. Some coastal homes with shrinking sand buffers could be at risk.

Beach erosion has been a hot topic in recent years as the coastline’s sand strips dwindle. Cities and other government officials have been lobbying the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in recent months, with hopes of boosting federal funding to help replenish sand in vulnerable areas threatened by the sea. 

The rising swell was a welcome sight for surfers who flocked to the coast as the size was building on Monday, June 21, the first official day of summer.



But be warned the waves could spell trouble for beachgoers unfamiliar with ocean, with big waves that can overpower a person or rip currents that can suck them out to sea.

The NWS advises people to “remain out of the water due to hazardous swimming conditions, or stay near occupied lifeguard towers.”

Also, rock jetties can be deadly in such conditions, officials warn.

Source: Orange County Register

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