Surf, high tides flood Southern California’s Newport Beach

July 4, 2020 GMT

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Workers were cleaning up after high tides caused a 40-foot sailboat to capsize and also flooded the streets of Newport Beach late Friday, causing a traffic jam that kept vehicles from leaving the Balboa Peninsula for hours.

The Orange County Register reported that eight bulldozers are dedicated to building back a sandy berm before high waters return Saturday night. Like many other Southern California beaches, the beach is closed to discourage crowds this holiday weekend.


“I think it’s safe to say there has been some property damage, we don’t know the full extent,” said said Newport Beach city spokesperson John Pope. “The city is still assessing some of the damage. There’s sand and trash just littered everywhere.”

Marine Safety Chief Mike Halphide said mostly the flooding came from the ocean, creating a river through city streets and pools of water that looked like lakes. He said there was up to a foot of sand under parked cars.

A sailboat started pushing toward shore amid high waves.

“It was rolling so violently in the surf, it wasn’t safe to put anyone in the water in such a short time,” Halphide said. “It went from being this beautiful 40-foot sailboat to a pile of debris.”

Royce Hutain told the newspaper he was on the peninsula checking out the flooding when he saw the boat coming close to shore. He said that the sailboat was destroyed “within 15 minutes.”

People on board got off safely, as did a dog, which was rescued by people on the beach and returned to the owners.