LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Getting into the ocean water could be particularly treacherous this weekend thanks to a strong swell that'll have waves pounding beaches through tomorrow night while causing potentially life-threatening rip currents.
The National Weather Service issued a “beach hazards statement'' that will be in effect until 11 p.m. for the Los Angeles County coastline and through 10 p.m. in Orange County.
“A moderate, long-period south swell will bring elevated surf and large breaking waves to coastal areas through Saturday evening,'' according to the NWS. “Surf will average 5 to 8 feet on the Central Coast and 3 to 6 feet with local sets to 7 feet across Ventura and Los Angeles counties, including Catalina Island. Surf will be highest on exposed south facing beaches.''
In Orange County, surf of 4 to 6 feet is expected Friday, with local sets up to 8 feet. Surf on Saturday is expected to range from 4 to 6 feet. Southwest-facing beaches will experience the highest surf.
In all areas, forecasters are warning of dangerous rip currents, which “can pull swimmers and surfers out to sea.'' The NWS also warned of large breaking waves that could knock people from rocks and jetties.
“Minor tidal overflows or minor coastal flooding is possible near the times of high tide through Saturday, especially during the higher evening high tides,'' according to forecasters.
The high tides have already taken a toll in Malibu, where a portion of Westward Beach Road near Zuma Beach was washed away Thursday afternoon by the roughly 6-foot surf. Malibu officials said the roadway and the Westward Beach parking lot will likely be closed beyond Labor Day so repairs can be made.
Officials with Los Angeles County Beaches & Harbors were placing boulders in the area in hopes of preventing further damage.
Los Angeles County lifeguards warned beach-goers about the hazardous conditions, and advised those going into the ocean to do so in front of a staffed lifeguard tower.
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