Epic Surf Wows California

Hurricane Marie's waves pound coast

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Aug 28, 2014 4:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – Southern California is seeing the kind of epic surf usually associated with Hawaii or Tahiti. Beaches are thronged with wave riders, and crowds are coming to watch the action even as seaside communities try to stave off damage from the ocean onslaught. A third day of waves spawned by the far-off Hurricane Marie is expected today before calmer waters return. Spectators lined the shore of the Wedge in Newport Beach yesterday, where 20-foot waves were crashing and some of the world's best surfers were riding.

Lifeguards up and down the coast were kept busy making rescues all day and trying to keep anyone out of the water who did not have strong experience. The huge waves also caused damage: Residents along Seal Beach, south of Los Angeles, swept seawater from ground-floor rooms after flooding overnight, and on Santa Catalina Island, a heavy surge sent sand, water, and some 3,000-pound rocks into a boatyard, causing substantial damage and tossing some dry-docked boats off their stand.

A bike rider makes his way through a flooded street after high tide and large waves caused heavy flooding in Seal Beach, Calif.
A bike rider makes his way through a flooded street after high tide and large waves caused heavy flooding in Seal Beach, Calif.   (AP Photo/Kevin Warn)
Beachgoers watch large waves crash on the shore at Seal Beach, Calif.
Beachgoers watch large waves crash on the shore at Seal Beach, Calif.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
A man carries his board as he walks through the flooded beachfront properties in Seal Beach, Calif.
A man carries his board as he walks through the flooded beachfront properties in Seal Beach, Calif.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A surfer rides a wave at the wedge in Newport Beach, Calif., yesterday.
A surfer rides a wave at the wedge in Newport Beach, Calif., yesterday.   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
An unidentified surfer gets assistance from a Los Angeles County lifeguard in Malibu yesterday.
An unidentified surfer gets assistance from a Los Angeles County lifeguard in Malibu yesterday.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
A man is hit by waves in Seal Beach, Calif., yesterday.
A man is hit by waves in Seal Beach, Calif., yesterday.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A boogieboarder rides a wave at the Wedge in Newport Beach, Calif., yesterday.
A boogieboarder rides a wave at the Wedge in Newport Beach, Calif., yesterday.   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
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