Video from the scene captured rivers of water, at least knee-deep if not higher in some spots, flooding the streets and partially submerging cars in the Peninsula Park area.
A line of cars was trying to get through the inundated streets as pedestrians waded through the water.
A sailboat was washed ashore by the strong currents and was being thrashed by the waves as rescue teams responded to the beach.
Witnesses say there were several people and a dog on board. They were rescued shortly before the sailboat smashed into pieces under the force of the powerful tide. Minutes later, only debris was left washing ashore.
At least one bulldozer was seen picking up sand to either create a barrier or trenches in the sand to stop the water.
Orange County's coastal areas are currently under a high surf advisory, which is set to expire on July 6. According to the National Weather Service, minor coastal flooding was expected in the area as a result of the elevated surf.
Most beaches in Orange County, as well as throughout Southern California, will be closed over the Fourth of July weekend because of coronavirus-related restrictions.