Massive Waves Sweep Santa Cruz Coast

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The worst of the recent California storm is over, but one of the places hit the hardest was the Central Coast. Waves battered the shoreline putting some people in danger. NBC Bay Area's Kimberly Tere reports from Santa Cruz where the waves reached up to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. (Published Saturday, Mar 1, 2014)

    Up-and-down the California Coast, waves were beating into the shoreline following a storm that has swept the state.

    In Santa Cruz, the water was considerably calmer Saturday evening than it was earlier when the waves were massive. At one point, the storm sent water right up to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, swallowing the actual beach.

    And all people could do is stand in awe of mother nature.

    "There’s a lot of white water," Santa Cruz resident Julie Goldberg said. "There’s a lot of breaking up, a lot of waves. It’s very exciting."

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    Nikolai Vlasenko, who was visiting California from Belarus, also loved the scenery.

    "It’s amazing. It’s poetic. It’s beautiful, shiny, indescribable," he said.

    A lot of people took advantage of a break in the storms to get outside and take in the Santa Cruz surf.

    "This is great," Rick Williams of Santa Cruz said. "It’s not always like this. The waves are big. It’s huge. Great storm. We haven’t had rain in a long time, so we’re really enjoying it."

    The water has receded Saturday night, but debris from the ocean swept right through a Santa Cruz beach parking lot at the peak of the storm.

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    "We can tell how big the storms are by how much driftwood shows up," Santa Cruz resident Larry Warren said.

    The high surf is being blamed for a sinkhole on Westcliff Road which drops to the ocean below.

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    "I’ve never seen one," Williams said. "That’s why we came here, to look at the sink hole."

    Some Santa Cruz residents said it is an old sinkhole that the city filled in about 10 years ago, but it appeared the storm washed huge rocks out of a beach cave below, causing it to collapse again.

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    "If you look down there, it’s close to 20-feet deep," said Marcello Jaramillo, who is visiting from Miami. "You can’t see all the way down to the water, but it’s a pretty big hole."

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    "it’s exhilarating," Goldberg said. "It’s just so clean and fresh right after a storm. It’s wonderful."