Seal Beach residents brace for second night of possible flooding

While many residents along Southern California’s coastline are bracing for a second night of high tides and possible flooding, some people in Seal Beach spent the afternoon cleaning up the mess caused by rising waters Wednesday night.  

A combination of high tide and high surf has created concern along south facing beaches in Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange counties. Sand berms have been built in an effort to keep the water away from beachfront homes and businesses.  

In Seal Beach, high tides rolled in last night, flooding streets and creating a muddy mess along the boardwalk, beach parking lots and homeowner’s properties.  

“It started in the afternoon yesterday and we could see it coming across the beach,” resident Ron Larson told KTLA. “The waves aren’t big waves that overwhelm us…(but) they come one after another for hours and slowly but surely, it accumulates here and got into my garage over here by about 3 inches.”  

Jim Cockrill, who lives a block inland from the beach, said the water almost made its way to his garage. 

“Luckily, I was sandbagging, and it helped,” he said.  

Cockrill and Larson, along with other Seal Beach residents, are bracing for another of high tides tonight.  

“High tide, plus high surf, plus no berm equals flooding,” Cockrill added.  

Berms were put in place today, a move that some residents said took crews only a few hours to put into place.  

“A day late and a dollar short, but they did and so it’s probably going to save us getting flooded tonight,” Cockrill said. “But they should’ve done it yesterday.”  

Flooding seen in Seal Beach after a combination of high tides and high surf hit portions of the SoCal coastline on May 17, 2023 (OC Hawk)

A lot of the residents in Seal Beach who spent their Thursday cleaning up the mess wonder why officials didn’t build the berms back up ahead of the high tides.  

“There were alerts in the weather news that said high surf, high tides and nothing happened,” Larson said. “These people pay a lot of money in taxes, and they deserve some of those city maintenance services and one of them is to get ahead of this game and not let this flooding happen.” 

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