ALISO BEACH STORM NEWS 2014
Having to get to North Orange County this morning from the south part of the county, logic told me that the storm would make the freeways an absolute nightmare. We are projected to get anywhere from 3-6 inches of rain over the next 2 solid days or so making being on the roads a little more perilous than Southern Californians are accustomed to. So I decided to take Pacific Coast Highway. While the storm was producing rain and there were big gusts of wind bearing down on the coast, it wasn’t really anything to worry too much about, and I felt like as long as I stayed at a reduced speed and left plenty of space between me and the vehicles ahead of me it would all work out just fine. When I got into the Dana Point area, the winds started to pick up and the rain got pretty heavy. Visibility became another variable in already dangerous roads. The amount of water running through the road and towards storm drains increased the danger of hydroplaning very real. As the rain blew more sideways and the size and velocity of the drops increased, I really couldn’t see much of anything. At about that point I noticed the car in front of me slam on its brakes and I had to come to a complete stop. A large eucalyptus branch had fallen on to South Pacific Coast Highway blocking the left lane and partially obstructing the second lane. It had just happened. Fortunately for the truck in front of me and myself, the cars behind us and in the right lane saw this happen and they slowed down to remain safe and allow cars from the left lane to maneuver around the downed tree limb. The tree fell in the Aliso Beach area of South Pacific Coast Highway near the Montage Resort. It was a sudden and violent squall of wind and rain and as fast as this all went down the weather event calmed back down. My theory on it being safer on the freeway could very well be misguided now that I think about it. If those Eucalyptus trees in South Laguna along Pacific Coast Highway are dry and now prone to being dismantled by winter storms, that could make driving the coast in this type of weather a real danger. It made the drive up the coast more interesting, and yes I had intended to stop off at Aliso Beach to check and see what the storm was doing to the waves. The rain was coming down so hard, that I could not see anything. Oh well! I wasn’t paddling out anyways. Hopefully this string of late winter storms will place sand bars in spots that give us some memorable surf as the winter season marches towards the closing bell.
Be safe out there today, the roads are dangerous. South Laguna and the Aliso Beach area was getting pretty torn up by the winds and driving rain so if you can avoid being in this weather, it may be good to catch up on things in doors.