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Beach residents prepare for possible flooding

January 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Residents along the coast are cautiously watching and preparing for possible flooding due to high surf.

Police are clearing the beach area in Seal Beach because of a possible tornado six miles off the coast.

Waves were pounding the pier at Seal Beach Tuesday as volunteers filled sandbags for residents preparing for the storm.

A coastal flood watch was in effect through late Wednesday night. High surf advisories remained in effect, with waves 15 to 18 feet reported along the Central Coast from Point Conception north to Cape San Martin.

Most people are staying away from the powerful swells, but a few body surfers ventured into the ocean.

The water crept within a few feet of a large sand berm built to protect beach front properties. Monday's heavy rainfall flooded the boardwalk in front of the homes with about a foot of water.

Jack Szczerban, who owns a duplex on the beach, filled sandbags and lined the doorstep in front of his property. He said many years ago water shattered his front windows and flooded the house.

"Well the key is to make sure you have some sandbags up front to try and keep the water from getting in between the buildings and underneath the buildings," said Szczerban. "If it gets high enough it can run through into the living room, so we're just trying to take precautions here."

Seal Beach residents can get sandbags at the police substation on the pier and at Orange County Fire Authority Station 48, located at 3131 Beverly Manor Rd., and Station 44, located at 718 Central Ave.

At least one home in Seal Beach sustained some flood damage on Monday. There was also street flooding in Costa Mesa, where part of Pomona Avenue near 17th Street looked like a river and several cars were nearly submerged.