L.A. County beaches reopen after winter storm threatens lightning

Storm clouds move ashore over Hermosa Beach.
Storm clouds move ashore over Hermosa Beach on Friday.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County reopened its beaches Friday afternoon after a lingering winter storm brought the threat of lightning, officials said.

The closures initially ran from Marina del Rey to Zuma Beach, the L.A. County Fire Departments Lifeguard Division announced in a tweet. The National Weather Service detected a thunderstorm around 9:30 a.m. in the Santa Monica Bay area and warned beachgoers to watch for lightning.

Hail also briefly fell on Manhattan Beach, said Kathy Hoxsie, a meteorologist with the weather service office in Oxnard.


The county Public Health Department warned that bacteria, chemicals, debris and trash carried by runoff from city streets and mountain areas were likely to contaminate ocean waters near storm drains.

“Individuals who enter the water in these areas could become ill,” the advisory noted.

The weather service’s El Segundo rain gauge recorded .16 inch of rain in five minutes just before 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Farther south, the Huntington Beach Fire Department issued a voluntary evacuation of all beaches in the city through 5 p.m.