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Ventura pier closed due to dangerous waves

January 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
With the storm bringing huge, crashing waves, officials have closed the Ventura pier as a precaution.

Waves higher than 25 feet were breaking through the pier, causing damage to several of the pier's pilings and even causing one to come loose. The pier will remain closed through the weekend, and engineers will inspect the pier prior to reopening.

Near the gate of the pier, you could feel the rumble as the pier swayed from side to side.

"I like coming down here and checking out the storm, but I have no real concerns. I think it will be alright," said James Miller, a Ventura resident.

Evelyn Burnett tried to shield herself from the downpour with an umbrella. She said she enjoys walking in the rain.

"I used to do it a lot as a kid. Going to the movies on a rainy afternoon is wonderful," said Burnett.

Inez Zucherman and her daughter, Hannah drove in for a day of shopping and they were met by the hard rain.

"There was thunder and lightning before, and we walked into just some storm and heard this big rumble and it was kind of scary actually," described Hannah.

"Luckily, when we drove up here from Thousand Oaks, the rain was pouring pretty good, but there were no accidents. I think everybody was just driving slow, and it was good," said Inez.

Don Houle came into Ventura form Ojai, which had its share of rain. He didn't have any work today.

"Even though it's hurting my business, I really like the idea that our lake is going to be filled up for the summer," said Houle, who is a carpet cleaner.

The next wave of storms is expected for Wednesday afternoon and could intensify into Thursday. Ventura County officials say they're ready.

The Ventura Harbor Patrol reported that at least one residential dock has been pulled away from its land foundation in the Ventura Keys from the massive water surge.

The Ventura County Fire Department reminded residents that the best way to prevent any potential flooding is to be prepared before the rainfall starts.

"People who live in flood-prone areas shouldn't wait until the rain begins to prepare," said Capt. Ron Oatman in a press release. "The power of flood waters is enormous and, once it starts, it's very hard to fight. The best thing you can do is to have your home ready before the water comes."