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Calif. residents fear seaside homes may crumble in pounding surf

PACIFICA, Calif. -- The city manager of Pacifica declared a local emergency after strong waves caused by El Nino storms ate away part of a seawall in the coastal community, damaging the municipal pier and threatening several homes.

City Manager Lori Tinfow said Pacifica will need state and federal assistance to "respond to the growing list of failing public infrastructure."

Crews have placed boulders at the bottom of an eroding cliff along Beach Boulevard to stop sea water from reaching the already soaked soil but the cliff has continued to crumble.

Mayor Sue Digre says the ferocious waves in recent weeks have been relentless and longer from north to south than any she's seen during her 25 years of living in Pacifica.

Michelle MacKay has been warned that she may soon be forced to evacuate, as pounding surf chews away at the crumbling cliff that separates her home on Esplanade Drive from the Pacific Ocean.

"I have the cat carriers right next to the front door and a car right near by," MacKay told CBS station KPIX on Saturday. "Really all that matters is my life and the life of the animals, you know?"

Despite calmer weather on Sunday, the eroding waves continue their attack and city leaders are set to meet on Monday to see about obtaining state and federal money to fix the coastside infrastructure.

For seaside residents like MacKay, those repairs, though welcome, may not come soon enough.

"I love it here. This has been my dream all my life to live by the ocean," MacKay said. "I'll be here until the end."