High surf caused by a hurricane hundreds of miles away led to flooding in Seal Beach Wednesday after water broke through defense barriers.
Walls of sand meant to stop rushing water, or berms, were unable to prevent flooding that began around 11 p.m.Tuesday night.
Water flooded the first floor and garages of several homes and was at least a feet high in some areas.
“Waves come up, carry all the sand, the trash cans from the beach and everything else,” homeowner Frank Champion said. “Everyone’s garages are flooded, half the houses here, it upped the top of the foundation.”
Hurricane Marie near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, caused high surf advisories for Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Orange County beaches, from Tuesday through 6 p.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service.
“It ended up being worse than the forecast, [which] showed 7- to 8-foot waves,” Capt. Steve Concialdi, of the Orange County Fire Authority, said Wednesday. “The waves last night, per the lifeguards, were 12 to 14 feet. They were coming at such a quick pace, with such energy and force that there was nothing that was going to stop them.”
Members of the Fire Authority assisted the city of Seal Beach with placing sand bags in front of residents’ homes in preparation for the next high tide, Battalion Chief Marc Stone said.
Champion tried to keep the flooding in perspective.
“We’re lucky to live in Seal Beach. It’s a beautiful place to live,” he said, surveying the damage. “Every once in a while, Mother Nature keeps us honest.”
KTLA’s John A. Moreno contributed to this report.