A big wet surprise greeted people living near the Balboa Pier in Newport Beach Wednesday morning.
At high tide around 11:00 a.m., an ocean surge flooded the park and surrounding streets, suddenly placing some residents knee deep in water.
"It was insane and it just kept coming and coming, and it just started flooding everything," Newport Beach resident Bridge Ross said.
Crews quickly went to work pumping out water and building a sand berm to prevent a repeat during the next high tide.
The swells began building all day at the popular surfing spot known as "The Wedge." Lifeguards put up tape to warn of the danger in the water and made sure they knew the skill level of anyone going in.
"If people aren't ready to be out there and commit to how large the swells are, how dangerous the currents are, we don't want them out there," lifeguard Arnie Van Dyke said.
Most people were content to stay on the sand and watch the waves from the beach.
"They're fantastic," said Carmen Swiggert, who was visiting from Pittsburgh. "I've never seen waves that big."