The Ventura Pier was closed Wednesday as forecasters warned of potentially dangerous high surf in the area and along the rest of the Southern California coastline through the weekend.
A high surf warning has gone into effect for the Ventura County coast, where breakers of up to 14-feet and sets up to 16-feet will be possible at exposed west-facing beaches until Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
The high surf prompted the closure of the Ventura Pier, which the Ventura Police Department announced Wednesday morning on Twitter.
A group of people gathered near the gated-off pier to watch as increasingly powerful waves began pummeling the pilings just after 10 a.m., during high tide. All morning, crowds of people flocked to the pier, many snapping photos of the stunning views.
"lt's so powerful, you see so much water moving through here, and to shake something this sturdy as this pier - it's incredible," one man told KTLA.
It was not immediately clear how long the pier would be shut down to the public.
Elsewhere, high surf advisories are in effect for Los Angeles and Orange county beaches until Thursday evening. During that time, breakers of up to 12-feet and sets up to 16-feet are forecast to hit along the L.A. County coastline, while Orange County beaches can expect waves of up to 10-feet.
As massive waves began battering the coastline, the weather service warned of strong rip currents and dangerous swimming conditions that can increase the risk of drowning for swimmers and surfers.
"Stay back form the water," forecasters said.
Other potential impacts include hazardous conditions for small boats, coastal flooding and beach erosion.