SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) — Evacuations were ordered at the Santa Monica Pier and on the city’s beaches Wednesday after lightning strikes were reported.
People on the beach and in areas near the ocean were all urged to seek shelter indoors until the electrical storm was over.READ MORE: Long Beach Shooting Leaves 2 Men Dead
Seal Beach Police said that its beaches and pier were also shut down after lightning was spotted. Seal Beach reopened its beach within an hour.
Los Angeles County lifeguards said they would be patrolling beaches from Topanga to Marina del Rey to let beachgoers know they should be ready to seek shelter in the event of lightning.
One cold storm from the north, and a warmer storm from the south have merged over Southern California, causing the unstable air that forecasters could produce thunder and lightning. There have also been reports of lightning in downtown Los Angeles.
Forecasters had already warned that the storms would bring high surf to west and northwest facing beaches and dangerous rip currents.
“There is an increased risk for ocean drowning,” warned an NWS statement. “Rip currents can pull swimmers and surfers out to sea. Large breaking waves can cause injury, wash people off beaches and rocks and capsize small boats near shore.READ MORE: Raging Dixie Fire Levels NorCal Town
“…Swim near a lifeguard. If caught in a rip current, relax and float. Don’t swim against the current. If able, swim in a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave for help.”
A high surf warning is in effect until Thursday morning.
High #surf is expected along W and NW facing beaches this evening thru Thu morning.
— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) November 19, 2019MORE NEWS: Republican Gubernatorial Hopefuls Take Debate Stage Wednesday Night