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Waves prompt road closures, damage in Santa Cruz County

salty breeze
Photo: Salty Breeze Surf Art and Photography

By Steven Baxter, Santa Cruz Sentinel
Originally posted on santacruzsentinel.com

CAPITOLA >> Some of the largest ,waves of the winter crashed on Santa Cruz County beaches Thursday, prompting the closure of East Cliff Drive at Corcoran Lagoon and Twin Lakes State Beach.

In Capitola, the wharf was closed to visitors Thursday morning because waves broke a water main about 8 a.m., said Capitola Finance Director Mark Welch. Wharf businesses remained without water Thursday, but they are expected to reopen Friday, Welch said.

“This is the first time that’s happened,” Welch said of the water main break.

A wooden staircase just west of the wharf also was damaged by waves Thursday and was closed, Welch said.

During a high tide of 5.7 feet at 7:45 a.m., ocean spray also splashed on roads in places such as West Cliff Drive and Woodrow Avenue in Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz police spokeswoman Joyce Blaschke advised people to stay back from wet cliffs and waves.

“Even for people who are sightseeing and think they are safely up on a low cliff can be splashed and thoroughly soaked, or even swept off the cliff,” Blaschke said.

She advised onlookers never to turn away from the ocean and always supervise children near the ocean.

“The signs and fences along West Cliff Drive are there for good reason. Don’t be the next victim,” Blaschke said.

Waves of 10 to 15 feet in Santa Cruz on Thursday are expected to subside to 8 to 10 feet Friday and 5 to 8 feet Saturday, according to Surfline.com. A high surf warning from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expired at 2 p.m. Thursday.

In Live Oak, wet weather continued to wreak havoc on trees and roads.

A tree that fell on wires prompted the closure of Sixth Avenue at Alpine Street in Live Oak. Johans Beach Road also was closed near Portola Drive for a tree down, according to Santa Cruz County Public Works.

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