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Hurricane Marie creates colossal waves on California coast

"It's as big as Southern California ever gets," Peter Mel, a prominent surfer told the Orange County Register. "It's perfect."
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   Aug. 28, 2014 at 12:19 PM
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Hurricane Marie sent extreme waves as high as 20 feet to the southern California coast, delighting surfers but causing dangerous conditions and property damage.

Marie, once a category 5 hurricane and now a tropical storm, is dying in the eastern Pacific. The waves will die as the storm dies so the waves are expected to calm Thursday evening or Friday morning.

Surfers are appreciating the gift while they can.

"It's as big as Southern California ever gets," Peter Mel, a prominent surfer told the Orange County Register. "It's perfect."

Rescue crews have been working overtime pulling swimmers and novice surfers out of rip currents and body-slamming surf.

"Swimmers and inexperienced surfers should stay out of the water," said the National Weather Service. "Stay off rocks and jetties and away from the water's edge to avoid being swept away by sneaker waves."

The waves are also doing significant damage to waterfront homes and blowing out pier pilings.

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