NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- The surf was churning in Southern California, and even bigger waves were brewing. Surfers and gawkers crowded beaches Tuesday while workers hurried to fortify beaches and sandbag low-lying areas against flooding from the serious surf expected to peak Wednesday, brought on by Hurricane Marie spinning off Mexico's Pacific coast.
At The Wedge in Newport Beach, a famous surfing spot, dozens lined the beach to watch bodysurfers get pounded by storm-driven waves up to 10 feet high. An ambulance was on stand-by near the beach. Would-be big-wave surfers who came out said they were hoping for swells up to 30 feet Wednesday. If that materializes, it will be the biggest wave event at The Wedge since 1997, when Hurricane Linda produced monster swells, said Tim Burnham, who's making a documentary about the famed surfing locale. The National Weather Service said beaches stretching 100 miles up the Southern California coast would see large waves and rip currents. Swimmers and surfers were urged to be aware of the dangerous conditions.
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