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Berms Built to Contain High Tide

Orange County

Newport Beach also digs ditches to mitigate expected ocean flow. Officials say danger of serious damage is low.

June 29, 2004|Kevin Pang | Times Staff Writer

In anticipation of unusually high tide this week, Newport Beach has installed flood barricades along its beachfront roads.

With a tide forecast to top 7 feet 8 inches, city officials are bracing for flooding on Newport Peninsula and around Balboa Pier. Sand berms up to 6 feet high have been built along A and B streets, the Junior Lifeguard Facility near Balboa Pier and at municipal parking lots for the Balboa and Newport piers.

Ditches designed to help dissipate water have also been dug around G Street, which has been flooded during previous high tides.

"There's no high surf predicted simultaneously, so this is just precaution," said Supt. Rick Greaney of Newport Beach Operations Support.

"There's no need for sandbags and no need to worry. This is just a protective measure."

Greaney said the tide is running half a foot above normal. High-tide conditions are expected to last through the Fourth of July weekend.

Elsewhere along the Orange County coast, officials said they were on alert but would not take special precautions.

"Because of our steep beach, we have nothing that's endangered unless there's significant surf with it," said San Clemente Marine Safety Lt. Steve Lashbrook.

Seal Beach Lifeguard Capt. Ross Pounds said that the swells in the area come from the south and southwest, so the high tide will mainly affect the city's more isolated North Beach.

Because of its flat topography, Newport Beach is the part of the coastline most prone to street flooding when tide levels rise above 7 feet.

Bill Crowell, manager of Newport Landing on Balboa Boulevard, said the high tide probably wouldn't damage the waterfront restaurant, but it may affect the flow of customers.

"The restaurant itself won't get hit, but it will wash down the street," Crowell said. "It'll slow things down a bit."

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