Southern California faces renewed threat of massive waves, coastal flooding Saturday

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LOS ANGELES – Another round of dangerous surf and coastal flooding is threatening the California coast Saturday, just 48 hours after massive waves wreaked havoc along beaches from Los Angeles to San Francisco,leaving at least eight people hurt and beachfronts soaked.

High Surf Warnings and Coastal Flood Warnings remain in effect until Saturday afternoon along the central California coast, including the San Francisco area, and until Saturday night for Southern California, including the Los Angeles area. The conditions are expected to be the worst during high tide.

AT LEAST 8 INURED IN CALIFORNIA AS MASSIVE WAVES FLOOD COASTAL TOWNS

Around San Francisco, Monterrey and Big Sur coasts, dangerously large waves of 28-33 feet are likely, with isolated waves as high as 40 feet. Farther south, waves are likely to reach 15-20 feet with sets to 25 feet around Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, while waves could be as high as 20 feet along Ventura and Los Angeles County beaches.

Those are similar wave height forecasts that were in effect Thursday when massive waves overtook beaches and coastal roads, spawning multiple incidents that first responders had to attend to along the coastline. 

Some waves even crashed against homes and businesses.

In Southern California’s Ventura County, a massive wave crashed through and over beach barriers Thursday, sending a surge of water rushing inland and catching several onlookers by surprise. Video from the chaotic scene showed people scrambling to escape the wave with at least one car carried inland in the floodwaters.  

WATCH: MAMMOTH WAVE NEAR LOS ANGELES SMASHES INTO BEACH SPECTATORS

Eight people were sent to the hospital with minor injuries, according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.  

Police closed several beaches and piers up and down the coast and even evacuated some low-lying areas along the coast Thursday. 

Ventura County spent hours Thursday night and Friday creating a fresh mile-long sand barrier to help protect the shorelines against the advancing surf.

STRONG EL NINO WINTER: WHAT KIND OF WEATHER YOU CAN EXPECT

After a brief break with lower surf Friday, seas were building again Saturday as powerful Pacific cyclones sent massive swells toward the West Coast. A storm offshore Wednesday measured at a peak minimum pressure of 960 millibars was followed close behind Thursday by another storm measuring as low as 970 millibars at its peak strength, according to NOAA surface analysis charts.

WHAT IS A SNEAKER WAVE?

“These are forecast to be EXTREMELY DANGEROUS conditions, as powerful waves and life-threatening rip currents pose an exceptional risk of ocean drowning and damage to coastal structures such as piers and jetties,” NWS forecasters in Los Angeles wrote in their forecast discussion. “Overall, this is expected to be an exceptional high-surf and coastal flooding event that has not occurred in many years.”

The surf threat was forecast to abate Sunday into early next week as the eastern Pacific gets a break from deep low-pressure storms.

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Southern California faces renewed threat of massive waves, coastal flooding Saturday

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