Many of the original Newport Beach homes sat on the beach. But a series of storms and high tides in 1933-34 led homeowners to rethink this strategy.
The Los Angeles Times reported on Oct. 25, 1933: “The heavy high tides that have been pounding on the coastline of West Newport for about a month, are growing heavier and the damage is increasing. Entire yards have been washed back from fifty to 100 feet, and a mile of coastline is affected.”
During the second half of 1934, damage from high tides and storms worsened. On Sept. 7, 1934, the Los Angeles Times reported: “Recurrence of giant waves pounding with relentless fury against the Southern California beach area yesterday added to the mounting toll of damage caused during the last forty-eight hours.
“The destructive combers continued to undermine dwellings near the water’s edge at West Newport Beach. Scores of property owners were preparing last night to move their homes to safer locations.”
At lease nine similar stories on Newport Beach coastal damage appeared in The Times between Aug. 22 and Dec. 10, 1934.
For more, check out the July 7, 2019, Los Angeles Times special project: California Against the Sea.