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Rains turn some L.A. beaches into trash dumps

January 25, 2010 |  7:11 am

Storm runoff

Sewage-strewn beaches often appear after Southern California is pummeled by storms, with those near river mouths hit especially hard. The rain and wind pull debris and garbage into riverbeds that eventually spit everything out into the ocean.

Last week's powerful storms have left their mark on Seal Beach.

Seal Beach received refuse that had traveled along the 75-mile-long San Gabriel River, which begins in the Angeles National Forest, runs through the Santa Fe Flood Control Basin and empties into the Pacific Ocean. Over in Long Beach, the sand was also awash in rubbish, courtesy of the Los Angeles River that flows through the San Fernando Valley and Santa Susana Mountains.

"Unfortunately it's just the way things are, living in an urban place like this," said Seal Beach lifeguard supervisor Tim Senneff. "We get a lot of trash any time it rains, but especially with back-to-back storms."

The city's Department of Public Works is expected to begin clearing the garbage this week, with lifeguards responding over the weekend to immediate needs, such as removing the carcasses of animals that had washed ashore.

Read the full story here.

-- Corina Knoll

Photo: Last week's storms left Southern California beaches littered with trash. "It's gross...the water was really murky," said Kelsey Widman, background, who braved the piles of refuse to catch some choice waves at Seal Beach. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times