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El Nino Storms, High Tides Cause Massive Coastal Erosion In O.C.

LAGUNA BEACH ( — Stormy weather and high tides have caused massive coastal erosion in Orange County.

Over 4 feet of sand has eroded at the entrance of Treasure Island Beach south of Montage Beach and has prompted crews to put up caution tape in order to keep beach-goers away.

That tape, however, has since been torn down as many risk the climb to get to the sand.

"We've been coming here for a few years and we've never seen it like this," said Steve Hromyko.

Hromyko says just last summer the sand in Laguna Beach was so high he could easily reach the bars on a lifeguard tower.

"It's unbelievable how much erosion has happened," he said. "It happened overnight, it happened over the span of a couple days, I think, a few weeks ago."

Recent fierce storms, whipping winds, and extreme high tides have made a dent in the coastal landscape.

Lifeguards say rocks in Laguna Beach are now cropping up where sand used to be.

A spokesperson for O.C. Coastkeeper says the erosion will only get worse as storms intensify in El Nino.

"El Nino don't mess us up. We want to come back this summer and see the normal surface," said Alex Verniss. "It is a good workout though."

In Newport Beach, winds of up to 60 mph blew sand from the beach for several blocks along city streets.

"It's crazy. I heard that last summer you could literally walk onto the sand," said Abby Garrett.

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