Powerful storm to bring heavy rain, strong wind and high surf to O.C.

Powerful storm to bring heavy rain, strong wind and high surf to O.C.
A Huntington Beach police officer diverts traffic on flooded Heil Avenue during a storm last month. Forecasters say a storm arriving late Thursday will be similar to those that downed trees and power lines and flooded roads in late January. (File photo | Los Angeles Times)

A powerful storm forecast to arrive in Orange County late Thursday is expected to pack quite a punch, with heavy rain, strong wind and potential flooding.

Forecasters say this week's storm is looking similar to those that downed trees, closed roads and cut power in late January.

The storm, which is expected to taper off by Sunday, could dump up to 3 inches of rain along the coast and 5 inches in the mountains and foothills, according to Derek Schroeter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Diego.

The majority of the rain in the area will fall Friday, Schroeter said. Winds blowing up to 45 mph are expected that day, he said.

The National Weather Service issued high-wind and flash-flood advisories through Saturday. Large surf with the potential to damage beach structures like piers will hit Thursday night through Sunday, the weather service said.

Waves are expected to range from 5 to 9 feet Friday and build up to 15 feet late Saturday through early Sunday, according to forecasters.

Laguna Beach officials are encouraging downtown business owners and Laguna Canyon residents to insert their flood gates within doorways to protect their property from rising water, according to a city news release.

Laguna residents can pick up free filled sandbags from the Act V parking lot at 1900 Laguna Canyon Road and a parking lot on the east side of South Coast Highway across from Aliso Beach Park. Unfilled sandbags are available at Laguna's four fire stations.

In Huntington Beach, free sandbags are available at the city yard at 17371 Gothard St., the Edison Community Center at 21377 Magnolia St. and the fire station at 3831 Warner Ave.

Newport Beach residents may pick up 10 filled sandbags at the city yard at 592 Superior Ave.

Seal Beach is offering complimentary sandbags at the marine safety headquarters at 888 Ocean Ave., the naval weapons station, several fire stations, Marina Park and the public works yard at 1776 Adolfo Lopez Drive.

In Fountain Valley, sandbags are available at the city yard at 17300 Mount Herrmann St. and the sports park at 16210 Brookhurst St.

Costa Mesa residents can pick up 15 free sandbags at the southeast corner of the parking lot at City Hall, 77 Fair Drive.

Daily Pilot staff writer Bryce Alderton contributed to this report.

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