LA County beaches from Redondo to Zuma close for 2 hours amid lightning threat staff KABC logo
Friday, December 22, 2023
LA beaches from Redondo to Zuma closed amid lightning threat
The possibility of lightning strikes as the storm cell passes over Southern California led to the closure of most beaches in Los Angeles County.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County beaches from Redondo to Zuma were closed for about two hours Friday because of the possibility of lightning strikes.

The LA County lifeguards announced the closure mid-morning Friday, asking people to stay off the beach and out of the water until the current storm cell passes.

By 12:40 p.m. they reopened the beaches but said they were continuing to keep an eye on weather reports.

The slow-moving storm has dumped heavy amounts of rain on parts of the region this week, leading to concerns about flooding. The bulk of the storm is expected to pass by Friday overnight, though it wasn't clear exactly how long the beach closures would last.

On Thursday, beaches in Malibu were also shut down for several hours in the morning due to similar concerns about the possibility of lightning.

The National Weather Service issued a Beach Hazards Statement warning of the possibility of lightning until 4 p.m. Friday for Orange County and San Diego coastal areas.

"Cloud-to-ground lighting may occur, which may cause serious injury or death," the NWS wrote.

"The highest chance for lightning will occur late this evening through the early morning hours...however it only takes one lightning strike to injure or kill."

The service said the storm intensity was observed to be increasing around 11:20 a.m., with heavy cells over the San Gabriel Valley and lightning seen in the area.

Additional Beach Hazard Statements were issued warning of the possibility of "abnormally high tides" over the weekend that would pose dangers to swimmers from late Saturday night through Tuesday morning for beaches in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties.