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High surf pounds Southern California beaches

February 17, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
This week's stormy weather, plus unusual tide conditions, means the currents will be very strong, and some beach communities may even see flooding.

High tides of 6 feet or greater occurred Thursday morning but low-lying coastal communities reported no difficulties.

While some experienced surfer braved the waves, it's not the place to be for weak swimmers. The rip currents are just too dangerous. Lifeguards are urging people not used to these conditions to stay safe.

"It's the time of year where no lifeguard agencies have towers open on the beach. If you're not an experienced swimmer, we suggest you either don't go in the water or stay close to shore," said Baumgartner.

High tide is expected at 9 p.m. Thursday. Lifeguards say the combination of high tide and high surf can lead to potential flooding in low-lying coastal areas, such as Sunset Beach or Seal Beach.

The next storm is due Friday into Saturday, with 1-to-3 inches of rain on the coast and in the valleys, and 3-to-6 inches in the foothills and mountains.

Some residents have been preparing for mudslides by setting up sandbags.