Strong, storm-driven winds have kicked up high surf conditions, forcing the closure of some local piers and sparking concerns over power outages and coastal flooding.  

On Tuesday night, the Redondo and Hermosa Beach piers were closed as waves peaking between 12 and 20 feet pounded the structures.  

By Wednesday morning, some fearless surfers could be seen searching for big swells despite the warnings from lifeguards.  

“Right now is not a time to come down and test your strength or your skills,” Chief Patrick Butler, with the Redondo Beach Fire Department, told KTLA. “The ocean water is very strong, very powerful.”  

In Newport Beach, high winds blew away a berm built up to protect the lifeguard headquarters.  

“Last night, we had a berm built to protect it from the ocean, from flooding, and I get to work this morning and it blew that thing flat, a six-foot berm,” said Newport Beach Lifeguard Chief Brian O’Rourke.

Not far away, in Hermosa Beach, the wind blew so much sand away, it undercut a lifeguard tower.  

“I’ve lived here for 25 years and I’ve never seen weather like this here,” said Daniel Salomone.

The Hermosa Beach resident also said that he and his neighbors were rattled awake by the howling wind gusts.  

“We woke up to trees downed all around the home and cars smashed and houses smashed,” Salomone said. 

A massive Eucalyptus tree in Manhattan Beach fell onto several cars and an apartment building on Laurel Avenue near Manhattan Beach Boulevard.  

In Torrance, several trees came down as well, including outside of Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center where it was partially blocking the ambulance entrance. Firefighters were forced to clear the debris.  

Trees brought down by high winds partially blocked the ambulance entrance at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance on Feb. 21, 2023 (KeyNews).

While the wind has been a nuisance for many and a precursor to potentially heavy rains, some locals, like Redondo Beach resident Shannon Walker, don’t mind it at all.  

“I actually appreciate it,” she told KTLA. “I know it’s going to be right before a storm. It’s kind of nice to have the wind. It kind of brings in the fresh air.”  

A high surf advisory is expected to last until at least 3 a.m. Thursday morning, just as heavy rains are forecasted to move into the region.