Southern California beach communities are preparing for a what could be a weekend of high surf generated by Hurricane Norbert as it crawls northwest off the Baja California Peninsula.
Larger-than-normal wave heights are expected along the Southern California coast, beginning Friday and continuing through Monday morning.
In Long Beach, sand berms built for a storm late last month will be reinforced in anticipation of large waves. Crews are focusing on building up the berm along a mile-long stretch from 55th Place to 72nd Place. Sand bags will be available Friday morning for residents and businesses making preparations for the storm surge.
During a swell generated late last month by Hurricane Marie, the breakwater that protects the seaport was breached, an official with the Army Corps of Engineers said. Two cargo terminals were closed for one day.
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Federal authorities are investigating damage to the seawall, caused during a weekend that included waves that topped 20 feet in some parts of Southern California.
This weekend's surge is not expected to be as intense, but surf advisories are in effect for south facing beaches in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Strong rip currents are likely, building into Saturday and Sunday when 7-foot sets are possible as Hurricane Norbert reaches its peak.
"The surf is expected to peak tonight through mid-day Saturday and will linger through next week Monday," according to a National Weather Service advisory.
The high surf advisory will be in effect until Monday morning.
The storm is moving slowly northwest, passing parts of Mexico's Baja Peninsula. The storm is not expected to make landfall, but it will produce strong wind gusts and rain -- some of which might arrive in Southern California Sunday or Monday.
"We'll start to see some changes late Saturday into Sunday as that tropical moisture comes in," said NBC4 forecaster Crystal Egger.
Storms are possible Sunday in the mountains of San Bernardino County.