High surf returns to SoCal but most communities spared from damage for now

Thursday, January 11, 2024
High surf pounds Southern California's coastal communities again
High surf pounded the Southern California shoreline on Thursday but so far no major damage has been reported.

VENTURA, Calif. (KABC) -- Strong winds whipping across Southern California are bringing dangerously high surf to beach communities once again Thursday.

In Ventura, where similar conditions last month led to a rogue wave sweeping up onlookers and damaging buildings, a state of emergency was declared as a precaution.

The order allows the city to receive emergency funding from the state and speed up any needed disaster response.

From Inland Empire to the coast, SoCal seeing strong winds, cold temps

Strong winds were blowing throughout Southern California on Thursday, kicking up dirt, blowing tumbleweeds and bringing high surf to the shoreline.

By Thursday afternoon, however, it appeared the strongest of the waves had subsided without bringing any new damage.

"Definitely a sigh of relief," said Ventura resident Inez Mendez. "It's amazing what the universe or what nature can bring to you. And seeing the big waves. Luckily there's not too many people out here today so it's just nice and relaxing."

Ventura rogue wave

A rogue wave hit the beach near Seward Avenue in Ventura, catching onlookers in rushing water. Police say eight people were treated for injuries at local hospitals. (No audio).

The rogue wave earlier this month caused damage to nearby buildings including the Inn on the Beach, which is now closed for repairs.

Mary Meyer, whose family owns the Inn of the Beach, said there was concern earlier Thursday about additional damage.

"I was expecting with the high surf for it to be a lot worse," Meyer said. "And I noticed that the waves are not high. I don't expect them to come back."

The danger isn't fully gone yet, however, The National Weather Service said: "High surf and coastal flooding are possible through Friday at west and northwest facing beaches.''

WATCH | High surf, strong winds hit South Bay coastline; residents prepare for possible flooding

From Marina del Rey to Redondo Beach, residents across the South Bay prepared for high surf and powerful winds Thursday. The National Weather Service said some areas could see coastal flooding.

If the big waves do return, the city and county of Ventura are hoping they've done all they can to protect people and property. Not long after the rogue wave hit, the city and county spent around $2 million to shore up the coastline and make repairs to the Ventura Pier.

Last month's conditions created large waves that pounded the region's coast, leading to flooding at coastal communities and multiple rescues by lifeguards.

A rogue wave hit the beach near Seward Avenue in Ventura, catching onlookers in rushing water.

A high wind warning will be in effect until noon in the Antelope Valley, Catalina Island, Malibu Coast, Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys, Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area and San Gabriel Mountains, where gusts of up to 80 mph are also possible.

The San Gabriel Valley and the Los Angeles coastal and metro area, including Hollywood and downtown, will be under a less severe wind advisory until noon, with gusts of 40 to 50 mph anticipated.

City News Service contributed to this report.