Preparations underway for king tides

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IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. – King tides are expected to bring 7-foot waves and possible flooding to Imperial Beach, and for the next 48 hours, all eyes are on Seacoast Drive.

“We got around 60, maybe 70 bags all packed up right here,” said Nick Cutbirth, bartender at Mike Hess Brewing.

He says the business had to shut down for a day last week after thunderstorms rolled in and fears the forecast that’s on the way.

“Four days coming? Oh yeah, pretty hard rain,” he said.

A few blocks away, Imperial Beach Fire Captain Ehrin Kahle and his team stuffed duffle bags in preparation.

“You got a torrential downpour, a huge northern storm, high surf and high tides? It ends up being the perfect recipe,” Kahle said. “When chaos is breaking loose, that’s when we shine.”

The waves could be higher than 7 feet. Last January, even higher waves flooded Imperial Beach, causing major damage.

“We have an estuary on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other that’s divided by a street and a sandbar, and when those two collide, we get a lot of flooding down here,” Kahle said.

The fire department has left sandbags behind its location at Imperial Beach Boulevard. Residents are limited to 10 bags each with proof of residency.

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