High Surf Advisory Continues After Waves Destroy Lifeguard Building, Damage Malibu Pier

Waves of 5 to 10 feet are expected Thursday, with a maximum height of 15 feet, according to NBC4 meteorologist Crystal Egger. High tide is expected around 11:30 a.m.

High surf continued to damage the pier in Malibu and even destroyed a lifeguard building in Point Mugu that some considered historic Wednesday.

Though the high surf peaked Wednesday, more damaging waves were expected in parts of the Southern California coastline Thursday as a result of swells generated by Tropical Storm Marie.

Witnesses in Malibu reported waves of 10 to 16 feet crashing down on and around the pier. The Cove House Lifeguard Administrative Building in Point Mugu ended up in the Pacific Ocean. Employees had anticipated the destruction earlier in the day and as prepared by removing computers, first aid supplies and other equipment from the building.

The building had been planted on the beach since the 1950s, and seasoned lifeguards said they were sad to see it go.

"It's more than just a building to us, it's more than just a headquarters," said Nathan Hadar. "A lot of us did most of our growing into who we are today, here."

Waves of 5 to 10 feet are expected Thursday, with a maximum height of 15 feet, according to NBC4 meteorologist Crystal Egger. High tide is expected around 11:30 a.m., which could result in minor flooding of beach communities.

The National Weather Service has referred to this week’s high surf as “the most significantly southerly swell event” in 18 years. A high surf advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. Friday in LA and Ventura counties. The advisory is in effect until 1 p.m. Friday in Orange County.

During high tide, there is the possibility of strong and dangerous rip currents as well as minor coastal flooding. There is also the possibility of sneak waves, which are much larger waves that wash up the coastline without warning and can sweep swimmers into the water.

NWS advises swimmers and inexperienced surfers to stay out of the water. Lifeguards made more than 100 rescues by 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Thousands crowded the beach along The Wedge in Newport Beach Wednesday morning to watch veteran surfers take on the big waves.

"It used to be just a few people down here and riding and no one ever knew the place existed," said Dennis Proud, a long-time visitor to The Wedge, who has been visiting for 40 years.

Even after sunset, a crowd of over a thousand people watched Laguna Beach surfer Nate Zoller.

"I couldn’t see anything because its pretty much dark but I got here kind of late so I decided to go for it," Zoller said. "This is one of the bigger swells ive ever seen in southern California so, it's been a good day."

Though the high tide may be a blessing for the experienced surfers, residents near the water in some communities continue to brace for the possibility of more flooding.

A storm surge powered by Marie sent water into oceanfront streets and flooded garages Tuesday night in Seal Beach.

Rising seawater cleared a wall along East Seal Way and flowed toward beach homes. Residents reported water in garages, carports and ground floors of apartments.

Thousands of sandbags were in place in the Seal Beach community.

Contact Us