Balboa streets, parking lots flood

Crews created sand berms between 6 and 8 feet long on both sides of the Balboa Pier to handle incoming waves.

August 31, 2011|By Lauren Williams,
  • Gary Wilson, of Newport Beach, sits on his bike in the flooded Balboa Pier parking lot while watching floodwaters rush over the beach Wednesday.
Gary Wilson, of Newport Beach, sits on his bike in the flooded… (Allen J. Schaben,…)

NEWPORT BEACH — Areas near the Balboa Pier flooded Wednesday due to a high tide and surf increase, according to lifeguards.

A 6-foot tide at 11:20 a.m. flooded streets and closed the parking lot northwest of the pier and on A Street, said lifeguard Capt. Boyd Mickley.

The increase was due to a swell from the Southern Hemisphere, Mickley said. Areas were affected for about 30 minutes.

Cleanup will continue for several days, and use street sweepers, hand crews and other equipment to remove debris and sand that washed up, according to Mark Harmon of the city's General Services Department.

Sand berms between 6 and 8 feet long were built on the north and south sides of the pier, Harmon said. The berms are aimed at lessening the intensity of waves Thursday, which are expected to be of similar size.

"We feel that the berms will mitigate the tide/wave activity during the high tide series tonight and midday tomorrow," Harmon wrote in an email. "We will also station staff at that location with large pumps to remove water from the parking areas and street ends if necessary."


The flooded parking lots affected the cars parked there, according to Newport lifeguard James Jackson, who worked to keep beachgoers out of harm's way.

"Cars that were in the front row of the parking lot were picked up and moved to the back row," Jackson said.

"That one set that came in right at 11:30 was pretty massive ... pretty massive," Jackson said.

The surf also flowed down streets, across Balboa Boulevard to the Fun Zone area.

The National Weather Service has warned of dangerous surf over the next few days at Southern California beaches.

Officials said "very strong currents and dangerous swimming conditions" will exist at southwest-facing beaches in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.

—The Los Angeles Times also contributed to this report

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