NEWPORT BEACH (CBS) — A higher than usual high tide and dangerous surf with waves reaching more than 11 feet tall caused flooding in the streets of Newport Beach Wednesday.
The flooding affected an area around the Balboa Pier. Local surfer Brandon Yamawaki captured video of cars driving through what appeared to be 6 inches of water.
“I heard the thundering from my house of the waves, louder than normal. I walked out and I just saw white water splash high above the typical sand edge. All of a sudden the white water started going over the sand pits and tossing trash cans, that weigh a hundred pounds like tin cans,” Yamawaki said.
The city said it was caught off guard by the swells that reached 10 to 15 feet.
“Water came over the wall and actually pushed these cars back. This car was pushed back about 12 feet from the curb. So we had a significant amount of water,” said Newport Beach Operations Director Mark Harmon.
The city braced for more potential flooding with a high-surf advisory in effect and reports of bigger waves coming. Berms were being built Wednesday afternoon along Balboa Pier as a precaution.
“I’ve lived here for 20 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” Yamawaki said.
For surfers like Yamawaki, big swells are good news.
“I’m going to go out and kill it. I’m going to go out and shred the gnar,” Yamawaki said with a big grin.
Officials, however, warned surfers to use caution.