High Waves Prevent Pacifica Crews Looking to Repair Sea Wall Damaged in Winter Storms

Following a winter's worth of rains, Pacifica crews were poised on Monday to fix a damaged sea wall along Beach Boulevard, which collapsed following El Niño storms in January, but couldn't because the ocean waves were too high.

Crews said they'd try again on Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, the city was poised to demolish the apartments at 320 Esplanade. The vacated apartments are at risk of crumbling over the cliff because of coastal erosion – the result of El Niño storms in 2010.

"It's not safe anymore," said City Manager Lorie Tinfow. "If we wait and there is some catastrophic storm or earthquake or some other event, that building could end up on the beach below."

The demolition will cost $200,000, which Tinfow said will, for now, come from the city's emergency funds. Pacifica officials hope to get reimbursed by the property owner, who they say failed to take action.

"I think he’s been very irresponsible," Tinfow said.

He also owns the complex at 310 Esplanade Avenue, which has lain vacant after dozens of people were forced to move out when the building was yellow-tagged in January. With each storm, the building is inching closer to the edge.

"I think it is a call to action," Tinfow said. "What are we going to do to protect our city under these conditions?"

Pacifica leaders says millions of dollars’ worth of work is needed to protect Beach Boulevard and shore up the cliff.

Right now, though, the city doesn’t have that kind of money, prompting officials to request state funding, Tinfow said.

A high surf advisory will remain in effect in Pacifica through Tuesday morning. 

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