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Higher, wider berm stops flooding in Newport Beach on Saturday night

An expanded berm prevented flooding in Newport Beach on Saturday night after Friday’s high-tide deluge, city officials said.

The berm, quickly assembled on Saturday, had sand piled “significantly higher and wider” than the one the waves wrecked the night before, said Newport Beach spokesman John Pope.

The towering waves turned streets in the Balboa Peninsula into lakes and muddy messes on Friday night.

On Sunday morning, Newport Beach residents said the waves seemed tamer. Jennifer McClean, 66, estimated they reached 15 feet compared to the 20 to 25 feet walls seen on Saturday.

Still, the waves drew dozens to the Wedge on Sunday.

“It’s spectacular to watch,” said Sarah Lazar, 40 of Tustin. “It doesn’t happen every day.”

Park patrol officers stood in front of the beaches, warning people that they could be fined as much as $300 for violating the closure that was extended until Monday. Lifeguards also drove around to discourage beach-goers and looky-loos from gathering.



The closures, put in place for the holiday weekend and similar to restrictions at most other Southern California beaches because of concerns about coronavirus, wound up giving workers the space to clean up and erect the bigger. better berm.

Pope said he heard reports that the new sand wall held, preventing water from swamping homes, businesses and the streets.

“Knowing how the ocean behaved on Friday, the crew knew how high to make the berm,” Pope said. “We were pretty confident the new berm would hold, based on what we had seen before.”

He couldn’t immediately rattle off its measurements.

An expanded berm put up on Saturday did its job at high tide on Saturday night, Newport Beach city officials said Sunday morning. (Photo by Jeong Park, Orange County Register/SCNG)

The city’s first priority Saturday was to build a higher, wider wall; now workers will move onto cleaning the debris and sand from the streets, which Pope said could take five to seven days.

“We will still be vigilant but the peak high tide was supposed to be last night,” he said on Sunday morning. “The concern is still there but it won’t be quite as much as yesterday.”

Pope said the beaches in Newport will reopen at 6 a.m. Monday.



Source: Orange County Register

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