SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In Ventura County Friday, surging waves inundated several low-lying streets along the coast as a very large Pacific swell hit Friday. Rough seas surged over the Ventura Pier during high tide, and seawater streamed through residential neighborhoods.
Mike Laan took a break from his job with the city of Ventura's tourism bureau to join hundreds of residents snapping photos of the huge waves.
"They're bigger than I've ever seen," Laan said. "When they're breaking, the waves are higher than the pier. The water is going all the way past the sand to the streets."
The pier was damaged by the battering surf and closed indefinitely. No serious damage was reported to homes, and the high tide receded by midmorning.
Just north of Ventura two surfers in their 20s were unhurt after being rescued from choppy waters at Mondos Beach.
A female surfer was pulled ashore by a passer-by, county fire Capt. Mike Lindbery said. Her male companion got stuck between breaking waves and onshore rocks and had to be pulled out by county rescue swimmers.
"Mondos usually has a good surf break, on good days," Lindbery said. "Today is not a good day."
The Southern California coast remains under a high surf advisory through Sunday, with unpredictable waves topping 10 feet.
Forecasters have said a strong El Nino weather system could drench California and other parts of the West in the coming months. However, Johnny Burg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle, said he didn't believe the latest Northwest storms were related to El Nino.
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