ZUMA BEACH (CBSLA.com) — The late winter storm that dumped a lot of rain and snow on Southern California, also did a number on area beaches.
Saturday, officials said dangerous surf was reported up and down the California coastline.
CBS2’s Art Barron reported from Malibu.
Earlier in the day he was at Zuma Beach where high waves were clearly noticeable.
Damage to property on the beach wasn’t as evident, at first.
But he reported that nature’s fury took a toll on many beaches — a balcony stair well was ripped away by pounding waves at a Malibu Beach condo unit.
Resident Austin McCann said, “Mother Nature just yanked them out this morning.”
He added, “The waves came roaring in here like a freight train. I saw the stairs start to shake a little bit and just went ‘Uh oh. Here comes trouble’.”
Eight to 12-foot waves and 15-foot sets pounded Zuma Beach where life guards discouraged surfers from entering the ocean.
“We’ve been advising people not to go into the ocean. It is unsafe for anyone. Even for experts, it would be challenging,” said Capt. John Larson, a LA County Lifeguard.
Surfer Bill Mahoney was happy to sit today out.
When asked if he would venture out into the rough water he simply said, “Not a chance, no way.”
Flying over Zuma it was also evident that some enormous rogue waves flooded parking lot #4.
“These waves were so powerful,” said Larson, “Today, all of our towers were 100 yards further out than they are right now.”
Eight lifeguard towers had to be pulled back so the strong surf wouldn’t wash them out to sea. Beach erosion from the storm also ate up between 30 to 50 yards of beach
From up above Playa del Rey, the rain and heavy surf flooded the bicycle path.
Meanwhile, some surfers opted for the surf in Malibu but many said they encountered smelly sea water from the storm run off.
Surfer Anthony Nguyen said, “I took a calculated guess in terms of how high it would be versus how good the waves are. I’m out here cause the waves are too good to pass up.”