Floodwaters are washing away at least part of a popular tourist destination in Southern Californias coastal waters, leaving more than 500 people homeless and forcing the closure of the popular Laguna Beach beach resort.
The National Weather Service in San Diego reported Tuesday morning that “tidal wave” waters had washed away more than 50 percent of the beach at the Laguna Pier and that the entire resort had been closed, a loss of about 2,500 hotel rooms.
The hotel at Laguna is the largest and busiest of its kind in the U.S.
The storm surge was estimated at 8 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) higher than normal and caused “tear-shaped, gale-force winds” that could be felt for miles along the coast, the weather service said.
The beach was closed at the time and reopened only a few hours later.
The National Weather Services office was closed, with people evacuated and others told to remain inside, the agency said.
A storm surge watch has been issued for the coast from Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley.
The coast and surrounding mountains will remain closed.