Kay brings only light rain as crews fight off flooding along Peninsula

The remnants of tropical storm Kay dropped just two-tenths of an inch of rain on Long Beach overnight, but emergency crews will remain on alert until tomorrow as they try to keep unusually high tides from inundating the Peninsula.

Large waves that arrived with the Baja California storm system completely eroded the berm that normally protects homes in the coastal neighborhood, sending trucks and dozers scrambling through the day to rebuild it as they prepared for Friday night’s high tide.

Land movers build up a sand berm to protect homes along the Peninsula from getting flooded as the remnants of Tropical Storm Kay hit Long Beach on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

As the highwater crested around 9:30 p.m., it again breached some sections of the berm, but crews were able to continually reinforce it in order to keep the flooding relatively minor and limited to a few local streets, according to the Long Beach Fire Department.

“There are currently no reports of property damage,” the LBFD said late Friday night.

The rare tropical storm, which made its way up to Southern California after hitting Baja California as a hurricane, brought unusual September rain to the Long Beach area.

Although it dropped only two-tenths of an inch, it broke a rainfall total for Sept. 9 at the Long Beach Airport weather monitoring station, according to the National Weather Service. It also broke daily records in Downtown Los Angeles, Burbank and at LAX.

A bicyclist makes his way along Ocean Boulevard as rain starts from a tropical storm hitting Long Beach. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

The NWS had warned that Kay would bring steep seas and gusty east winds to coastal waters through Saturday with gale force winds at Catalina and San Nicolas Islands. Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said residents were fortifying against the high surf and wind with sandbags and Catalina Express canceled some trips to and from the island.

Long Beach, though, saw only occasionally gusts over 30 mph with mostly light winds overnight. A gale warning from the NWS expired overnight with the worst winds limited to between 6 and 9 p.m.

A high-surf advisory will remain in effect through tonight when another high tide will roll in around 10 p.m. The swell is expected to be slightly smaller, according to the LBFD, but crews will remain on alert to continually reinforce the Peninsula berm.

There will be a continued chance for rain and thunderstorms through Sunday, according to the NWS.

City warns public to stay away from coast as storm approaches

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Jeremiah Dobruck is managing editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his journalism career in 2007 as an intern at Palos Verdes Peninsula News and has worked for The Forum Newsgroup in New York City, the Daily Pilot and the Press-Telegram.