Quick action by Santa Cruz Boardwalk maintenance crews prevented the rain-swollen San Lorenzo River from further damaging the local landmark, according to a spokesman for the amusement park.
Heavy rains this week caused the river to change course, flowing parallel to the amusement park and turning sharply in front of the lower end of the boardwalk near the Ferris Wheel, instead of flowing straight out to sea, spokesman Kris Reyes said.
The diverted river swept away a set of wooden stairs early Wednesday morning, Reyes said.
Boardwalk crews used on-site heavy equipment to move sand and build a protective berm, preventing the river from causing further harm.
"The Boardwalk has withstood many storms in its 105-year history. We have a very experienced maintenance staff, and we are confident in their ability to stay on top of the situation," Reyes said.
According to the California State Parks Office of Historic Preservation, the boardwalk, which has been a local landmark since 1907, is the only oceanside amusement park operating on the West Coast.
Officials from Santa Cruz Public Works and the California Coastal Commission were not immediately available Thursday afternoon for comment on the emergency work.
Boardwalk rides are scheduled to open this weekend, weather permitting, and the park opens daily from March 31 to April 15 for spring break.