Newport Beach public works officials Wednesday were busy shoring up berms, mostly along Balboa Pier, to protect against possible flooding from high tides.
Officials were mindful of what happened last Fourth of July weekend when the so-called king tides led to “serious flooding” in beach parking lots and some residential neighborhoods, city spokesman John Pope said.
The high tides are one factor, but Pope said officials were also concerned about “unusual wave action.”
“You can get predictions on tides, but you can’t always on wave action and how it will behave,” he said.
The berms are 14 feet on average and last year they were 10 to 12 feet high. Also, this year the city has built a second berm as an extra line of defense.
“So if it’s over-topped it won’t be right on the street,” Pope said. “There’s a little bit of a second barrier there.”
The berms are “running for significant parts of the peninsula, but our focus is on Balboa Pier, which tends to be the most vulnerable,” Pope said. “We built it up quite a bit on the west side and we’re now focusing on the east side and filling in that area.”
Tuesday night’s tides served as a preview, Pope said.
“Tomorrow will be a bigger test,” he said. “But last night it didn’t over-top it, but we did get some erosion on some areas, but that gave us a test of where those areas of vulnerability are and we were able to shore those up.”
Residents can get sand bags at the city’s yard at 592 Superior Ave.