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Low-Lying Beach Communities Brace For Powerful Storm

SEAL BEACH ( — With a major Pacific Storm taking aim at Southern California later this week, low-lying coastal communities like Seal Beach are getting ready for high surf and a possible flood of rain.

Waves in the area from Huntington to Newport to Seal Beach could run from four to seven feet Wednesday to as high as 14 feet by Saturday, building concern for residents in homes close to the water.

Mark Berry says the area south of the Seal Beach Pier – even with a sand berm and sandbags in front of homes – is especially vulnerable to flooding, especially with two to five inches of rain forecast for the coastal areas, KNX 1070's Pete Demetriou reports.

"On the boardwalk, its actually below sea level, that's why that put up that big berm," Berry said.

But resident Kevin Shannon is not as concerned this time around, not for the amount of rain that's expected.

"It's over prepared, I think," Shannon said.

The storm is expected to be one of the windiest and rainiest in five years and could also cause mud and debris flows, especially in burn areas in Glendora, Silverado Canyon and Malibu.

KCAL9's Stacey Butler reported from Seal Beach Wednesday evening.

In that coastal community, some residents were already busy gathering sand bags.

Other people weren't terribly concerned.

"We've been through this before so as far as I'm concerned it's just another storm," said resident Russell Tam.

"The neighbors next door have had a foot of water, but it seems to come right here. I've been blessed," said 12-year resident Todd Caviolia.

Down the coast in Newport Beach, Butler said residents, with ID, could get sandbags starting Thursday (from the City Corporation Yard.)

Additional lifeguards are also expected to handle overflow crowds curious about the 10-foot waves.

"Especially with the way our sand has shifted which could create even larger surf," said Newport Beach Lifeguard Chief Rob Williams.

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