Despite warnings of high waves along the California coast, eight people in Ventura were injured Thursday when they were hit by a massive rogue wave that swept over a seawall and flooded area streets.
At least a dozen people were watching the swells from the seawall near South Seward Avenue around 10:50 a.m. when a large wave crashed over them, according to video posted online by the Ventura County Fire Department. When spectators saw the wave coming, they started running, while the drivers of two trucks also tried to flee, but the water swept away several people and one of the vehicles.
Eight people suffered minor injuries and were taken to hospitals, Ventura County Fire Capt. Brian McGrath said.
As of Friday morning, McGrath said he had not heard from the eight injured, but the city and county and firefighters were working to clean the streets and prepare them to reopen.
Ventura and Santa Cruz counties were hardest hit by Thursday’s extremely high waves, which led to rescues, flooding, road closures and injuries.
Ventura Public Works crews were working Friday to build berms to “take the brunt of any large waves that could arrive,” McGrath said.
Ventura County posted a video Friday morning on X, formerly known as Twitter, from Pierpont Beach, west of Ventura Harbor and the South Seward area, of two bulldozers building a berm to protect homes .
The National Weather Service repeatedly urged people to stay out of the water and stay away from the ocean Thursday as large waves hit the coast.
Conditions were dangerous and life-threatening, said Alexis Clouser, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Monterey office.
Ventura County officials are still pleading with people to avoid the coastline. Several county beaches, piers, state parks and campgrounds are closed due to a continued high surf advisory.
California Daily Newspapers