As heat wave rages on, Californians flock to the beach

Local news

As a heat wave scorched Southern California, many residents flocked to the coastline Saturday to cool off.

With some areas sweltering under triple-digit temperatures and movie theaters, indoor malls and other air conditioned locations closed due to coronavirus restrictions, Beachgoers were seen packing the shorelines, including at Hermosa Beach, and in Venice and Santa Monica.

People lounge at the beach amid the severe heat wave in Venice on Aug. 15, 2020.(Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images)
People lounge at the beach amid the severe heat wave in Venice on Aug. 15, 2020.(Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images)

Forecasters say the heat wave, which started Friday, could be the worst seen in years and bring record-breaking temperatures, with hot conditions expected through Wednesday.

Officials have asked residents to limit their time at the beach so others can enjoy the sand and surf without creating large crowds.

County Health Director Barbara Ferrer on Saturday urged residents to practice physical distancing and avoid gatherings.

“With this weekend’s high temperatures, I encourage everyone to take steps to stay cool and keep hydrated throughout the day while still practicing physical distancing and avoiding gatherings,” Ferrer said.

Beachgoers create a forest of umbrellas as thousands seek refuge on the beach at Santa Monica Aug. 15, 2020. (Luis Sinco/ Los Angeles Times)
Beachgoers create a forest of umbrellas as thousands seek refuge on the beach at Santa Monica Aug. 15, 2020. (Luis Sinco/ Los Angeles Times)

She told residents heading to the beach to remember to wear face coverings when around other people, including in parking lots.

“If you feel reluctant to wear a face covering during the hot weather, please stay home and away from all others not in your household,” Ferrer said. “In spite of the heat, we still need to continue taking every measure possible to slow the spread of the COVID-19 and reduce community transmission rates so we can re-open our schools and get more people back to work.”

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