High tide brings contaminated water to South Bay doorsteps

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IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — High tide brought contaminated water onto Seacoast Drive in Imperial Beach Thursday, leaving some residents concerned about their health.

The high tide and high surf Thursday morning caused minor flooding along some driveways and parking garages. “It sounds like it’s going to crash into the house,” Imperial Beach resident Laurie Hewitt said. “I don’t know what we would do.”

Some residents put out sandbags as a precaution against flooding.

“You can’t stop mother nature. She’s going to come whether you want her to or not,” Hewitt said.

Crews were able to quickly remove the sand and mud that washed up. Residents did not report any damage to their property but some were concerned about bacteria washing up. The shoreline at Imperial Beach is currently closed due to sewage-contaminated runoff from the Tijuana River.

“I know what an outhouse smells like in Texas in the sunshine. This didn’t hold a candle to it,” Imperial Beach resident Paul Wilson said.

“It’s very concerning,” Hewitt said. “You can’t get in the water. If you do you’re risking your life.”

Still, some surfers risked their safety and a citation and got in the water. “One of the biggest swells of the year so far,” one surfer said. “It’s going to be fun. That was my first impression.”

Runoff from two separate storms in the next week is expected to keep the beaches closed even longer.

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