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High tide, waves flood coastal communities

February 28, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Storms are over for now, but high waves during Sunday morning's high tide flooded low lying beach communities in Malibu and Orange County, including a Redondo Beach restaurant.High tide Sunday was at 9:19 p.m. and Seal Beach police were keeping a close eye on the surf just in case there was more flooding.

Many walked out on the pier in hopes of seeing huge waves at high tide, but the surf was less than spectacular.

"The waves aren't usually this big on a normal basis, so it's a little better than usual, but a little let down of what I was expecting," said onlooker Kristiana Mindiola.

At some points Sunday morning, the surf reached right up to residents' homes in Seal Beach, but by Sunday evening, the surf had died down with only slight flooding. The high surf and high tide are unrelated to the Chilean earthquake.

Dozens of surfers were in the water Sunday morning enjoying the high tide. The surf has ranged from 10 to 12 feet high. The Orange County coast is under high surf advisory until 2 a.m. Monday. The O.C. is also under coastl flood advisory until 8 a.m. Monday.

The huge waves flowed over sand dunes and a small pond collected close to homes, but there was no damage reported.

The surf also caused flooding in Sunset Beach on the PCH Sunday morning. CHP closed a two-mile stretch between Warner Avenue and Anderson Street.

Residents say that they saw the waves going beyond the beach.

"I saw the tide was rising higher and higher, and I looked out my back window and I saw that there was water on the street," sad Sunset Beach resident Fran Delaney-Barron. "Definitely, the waves had broken over the berm and as I looked a little bit further down the street, I saw that it was flowing out onto the streets."

"I've lived here for 20 years, and this is the most water I've seen," added Delaney-Barron.

In Redondo Beach, the ocean view at Lou-e-Luey's was right outside the door on the board walk. Sandbags helped keep out most of the water, but workers arriving Sunday morning had to clean up before they could serve brunch.

"Right away, we started getting the water out of the restaurant. We put the tables up, and got the tables out, and started squeegee-ing the water out, but as we started doing that, more water kept coming in," said Summer Comer, the restaurant's manager. "So, we just got all the water out, mopped, and there was sand everywhere."

The Malibu coastline also experienced some flooding Sunday morning as well at Zuma Beach. Waves flowed over temporary sand berms and a concrete sea wall flooding the parking lot. Lifeguards said that the water did not cause any major damage.

Many residents say that they've seen large waves flooding the streets before, but they said that it's not something that happens very often.

The areas affected by coastal flooding Sunday were able clean up the mess the water left behind. The stretch of PCH from Seal Beach to Sunset beach was closed earlier but has since reopened and shouldn't cause any trouble for the Monday morning commute.