PACIFIC PALISADES (CBSLA.com) — The August-like weather sent crowds to the Southland’s beaches on Saturday, creating traffic jams as well as extra work for lifeguards, whose staffing remains at winter levels.
By 5 p.m. the sweltering temperatures had mostly abated, according to CBS2’s Bobby Kaple, who traveled from Santa Monica to Pacific Palisades on Saturday afternoon.
“It was really hot, so we wanted to go to the beach and catch some waves,” said Gracie Smith, who summed up the sentiments of thousands as a major heatwave wallops the region.
The crowd flocking to the beach generated a whole of lot stop-and-go traffic along the way and wall-to-wall people heading into the water in Santa Monica.
One beachgoer noted that she was trying to stay in the shade as much as possible.
“We have our fresh-squeezed lemonades,” said another beachgoer, Shiva Lalezar. “We brought our…organic fruits and veggies, and the girls are munching on them.”
One girl said she didn’t think her dog was enjoying Saturday’s warm temperatures.
“I was telling everybody back home that they are calling the big shiny thing in the sky the sun,” said Scott Dudley, a tourist from Washington. “We’re not typically used to this. This is all right.”
Lifeguard Capt. Eric Howell said rip currents are causing problems, with more than a hundred rescues up and down the beach.
“Yeah, we’re at max capacity,” Howell said. “It’s extremely hot out today, and the water is uncharacteristically warm today. It seems like on days like this when you have rescues going on everywhere you’re always short-staffed.”
Kaple reported there were also dozens of stingray attacks on area beaches Saturday, particularly around Venice and Santa Monica.