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High surf pounds Southern California beaches

January 6, 2012 | 10:53 am

Large, powerful waves pounded the Southern California coastline Friday, causing one pier to close as officials warned beachgoers to exercise caution. 

The National Weather Service issued a high-surf advisory earlier this week that will remain in effect until Saturday. Los Angeles and Ventura counties are expecting swells of between 5 and 10 feet.

In Huntington Beach, people were lining up along the beach taking pictures of the towering swells breaking over rocks.

Photos: High surf hits Southern California beaches

A storm system brewing in the central Pacific has produced the towering surges, the National Weather Service said.

In San Diego, officials closed the Ocean Beach pier after a high tide coupled with high surf created surges of 10 to 15 feet that broke over it, said Nick Lerma, lifeguard lieutenant at the San Diego Fire and Rescue Department.

No damages were reported, but the strong waves have caused some beach erosion, he said.

San Diego lifeguards brought in extra staff to handle an increase in possible water rescues, he said.


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Photo: A surfer rides a large wave near the Huntington Beach pier. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times