High tides leave parts of Seal Beach under inches of water, with more flooding expected

A man in basketball shorts and a hoodie stands in ocean water above his ankles next to a house near the beach
Ron Larson, 75, stands in seawater that left some parking lots and neighborhood streets flooded in Seal Beach on Thursday.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Crews in Seal Beach worked to clear pools of water from the beachfront Thursday morning as parts of Southern California’s coastline braced for another round of potential flooding from the evening’s next high tide.

A “strong southern swell and high tide” on Wednesday night led to flooding of beach parking lots and areas around the boardwalk, the Seal Beach Police Department said. Water reached the streets and parking areas of housing complexes near the beach, but no major damage was reported.

A high tide advisory was in place in Old Town Seal Beach between 10th and 12th streets.

On Thursday morning, the ocean level rose above Ron Larson’s ankles as he stood just outside the beach in shorts and a hoodie.


A landslide beneath the historic Casa Romantica in San Clemente underscores the threat of coastal instability exacerbated by last winter’s powerful storms.

May 16, 2023

“This is the privilege of living on the beach. It’s just an inconvenience,” said Larson, 75, who has lived by the water in Seal Beach for 23 years.

Police said the city’s public works department “was monitoring the situation” and working to create an emergency berm — or raised patch of land — “to prevent water from cresting the sand.”

Free sandbag kits were being offered to nearby residents at the 8th Street lot.

A backhoe scoops waterlogged sand from a beach next to a row of homes
High surf saturated parking lots and neighborhood streets in Seal Beach on Wednesday night and will continue Thursday as crews work to contain the flooding.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

The National Weather Service also issued a beach hazard warning for Orange County beaches for Thursday.

Breaking waves are expected at 4 to 6 feet with some climbing as high as 8 feet, forecasters said. That element creates “dangerous swimming and surfing conditions,” according to the National Weather Service.

There is expected coastal flooding of low-lying areas throughout Seal Beach with the high tide anticipated at just over 6 feet at 9 p.m. All beachgoers are advised by the National Weather Service to “remain out of the water to avoid hazardous swimming conditions.


Calls to the city’s public works and police departments were not immediately returned.