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Powerful surf damages part of Ventura Pier and floods neighboring streets

Powerful waves damaged a portion of the Ventura Pier on Friday, forcing authorities to close access to it as water surged through residential beach neighborhoods.

Live TV footage showed large waves pummeling the 143-year-old pier and shearing several pylons that were dangling and swaying in the ocean.

Ventura police said the extent of the damage will not likely be known until the high winds and waves subside. TV footage showed surf surging through a beach neighborhood, flooding streets.

Police evacuated the pier and have closed it indefinitely.

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High tide was expected to hit Los Angeles and Ventura county beaches between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., said Emily Thornton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. Waves could reach 15 feet and cause coastal flooding, she said.

Swimmers and surfers were urged to stay out of the water due to dangerous rip currents.

Along the Central Coast, powerful waves surged up to 29 feet Thursday. Beach visitors could see the high surf through the weekend.

The high surf episode has turned out to be one of the largest surf events of the season, forecasters said.

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As surf thrashed along the coast, a fast-moving thunderstorm moved through Morro Bay, dumping small hail.

A low-pressure system from the Pacific Northwest has pushed the large swell toward Southern California, also bringing light rain Friday and cold temperatures, Thornton said.

But forecasters are not expecting the storm to bring much rain to California.

“We are all wanting the rain,” Thornton said. “Aren’t we?”

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For breaking news in California, follow VeronicaRochaLA on Twitter.

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