Southern California high surf caused $20 million in damage to Los Angeles port seawall

Associated Press

High surf that battered the Southern California coast last month caused about $20 million in damage to a seawall protecting the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex, authorities said Tuesday.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the estimated cost of emergency repairs for 11 areas of major damage to the breakwater outside the nation's busiest port complex.

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The corps said swell churned up by Mexico's Hurricane Marie caused major damage to 1,550 feet of the 18,500-foot stone seawall, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported (

The total price tag for repairing dozens of other gaps in that breakwater and two other seawalls is still being calculated.

The corps is looking at ways to pay for the work. Corps spokesman Greg Fuderer has said funds are limited and that will determine the speed of repairs, the newspaper reporter.

Meanwhile, the corps said the weakened breakwaters are "very susceptible" to greater damage if there's another episode of high waves.

"The hurricane season still has two months to go and will be followed directly by the winter storm season," a corps statement said. "Therefore, repairs to breached areas should be made immediately."

Fifteen-foot swells late last month shut down two cargo terminals for a day, caused some minor flooding to homes in nearby Seal Beach, knocked some pilings off the Malibu Pier and a lifeguard building along the Los Angeles County coast, and caused significant damage to a Santa Catalina Island boatyard.

Lifeguards made hundreds of rescues.