Neighbors on the Balboa Peninsula were left with the wet, muddy reminders Thursday morning of a flood the night before after ocean water passed through a broken seawall damaged by construction workers.
As much as two feet of seawater poured into the residential area, flowing into streets and into some garages.
City officials on Thursday morning said the water was all cleared out, much of it pumped out overnight, but there was more work ahead.
“We have met with the property owner, and we’ve determined that the wall that remains is intact, however, we’re going to ask them to build a sand wall,” said George Murdoch, director of municipal operations for the city. “It doesn’t look like they’ll be able to construct a new (sea)wall for a while.”
The private property where the flooding started, in the 500 block of 36th Street, is a construction site.
Crews had been doing demolition work in that area and reportedly damaged the top 18 to 24 inches of the seawall by accident.
When high tide rolled in Wednesday, shortly before 9 p.m., water rushed through.
Crews tried to divert water from homes and put up sandbags to quell the flow, Brian McDonough, a Newport Beach Fire Department battalion chief, said Wednesday night.
Murdoch said some cars were partially submerged, and one family was moving and had many of their belongings in the garage when at much as two inches of water seeped inside.
Thursday morning, the water was gone. Some residents were sweeping away dried mud and debris.
Though it was immediately unclear who would be held liable for neighbors’ damages, Murdoch suggested that residents first contact their insurance companies.
“After that (the city), will be here to try to help,” he said.