Unusually high tides and surf may cause flooding along L.A. County coast

Unusually high tides expected

High tides in the coming days are expected to be higher than usual. Above, the waves stay away from homes along Malibu’s Broad Beach on Oct. 20.

(Michael Robinson Chávez / Los Angeles Times)

Unusually high tides and surf will hit the California coast for the next few days, which could cause some flooding in low-lying areas, and there will be a moderate risk of rip currents, National Weather Services officials said Monday night.

On Tuesday through Friday, high tides in Los Angeles County are expected to be as high as 7 1/2 feet -- several feet higher than normal, according to Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the NWS in Oxnard.

Meanwhile, the surf on Southern California’s west- and northwest-facing beaches could be as high as 5 feet Tuesday and even higher Wednesday through Friday.

South of Santa Barbara County’s Point Conception, surf could reach 6 to 10 feet later this week. “North of Point Conception they’re a lot higher and more dangerous” -- 8 to 12 feet, Seto said.


Rip currents could also pose a danger to swimmers in the coming days. People “can be carried into the ocean,” Seto said. “They have to remember to swim parallel to the shore in order to get back.”

The highest tides are expected in the midmorning hours Tuesday through Thursday, according to the NWS. A tide height of zero indicates the surface level of the water “halfway between the mean high tide and the mean low tide,” Seto said; the higher the tide, the deeper the water.

Long Beach, Malibu, Port Hueneme, and Pismo and Oceano beaches are seen as particularly prone to flooding.

Seto said the flooding will mainly affect parking lots and roadways near the beaches, although water might also reach some homes.


“Even though it’s not flooding people out of those houses, it does cause an inconvenience,” he said.

Residents who want sandbags to protect against flooding can get them at certain fire stations in Venice, Westchester, Playa Vista and Mar Vista, L.A. Councilman Mike Bonin, whose district includes those neighborhoods, announced on Facebook.

As of Monday night, “a few people” had picked up sandbags at Fire Station 63 in Venice, Fire Capt. Cecco Secci said. “Not a huge amount.”

For more news, follow @raablauren on Twitter.