California Coast Hit with Colossal Waves and Devastating Flooding for Third Day

Climate change could be a factor.

Richard Vogel/AP

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Abnormally large waves, some as high as 40 feet, have been pummelling Southern California’s coastal communities since Thursday, plaguing the areas with massive flooding and dangerous rip currents. According to reports from CNN, the extreme conditions have forced beach closures, washed away cars, and flooded seaside businesses and residences. Several of these communities are still recovering from previous floods earlier in the year.

Ventura County, one of the hardest hit areas, has closed its beaches through New Year’s Eve, while San Diego and Orange counties are under flood warnings until 2 a.m. on Monday. The National Weather Service in Los Angeles has officially deemed beaches, piers, and harbors in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, & L.A. unsafe.

Climate change could be to blame. On Thursday, Dr. Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California-Los Angeles, noted on X that global warming may be playing a role, as climate change has been shown to cause rising sea levels. California has felt the effects of climate change severely over the past few years, with several deadly floods, wildfires, and droughts—all natural phenomena exacerbated by climbing temperatures.

Here are a few photos and videos of the devastating waves and their aftermath:

People walk along the shore after damage from high waves and flooding at Rio Del Mar Beach in Aptos, Calif., Friday, Dec. 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Pamela Hassell)

Pamela Hassell/AP

A view from Rio Del Mar Boulevard of the damage from high waves and flooding at Rio Del Mar Beach in Aptos, Calif., Friday, Dec. 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Pamela Hassell)

Pamela Hassell/AP

 

Alfredo Perez carries a sandbag to reinforce a home along a flooded Clarendon road due to high waves in Pacifica, Calif., Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023.(Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via AP

 

The streets are flooded in Capitola, Calif., Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Nic Coury)

Nic Coury/AP

 

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